MTG Analysis: Archons part 2

Carlos Albuquerque
4 min readFeb 25, 2024

A while back I wrote an extensive article on the archons of Magic: The Gathering. Since I don’t feel like making a fool reboot (and I can’t add more images to that article) I’ve decided to make a sequel article dealing with the archons we haven’t reviewed yet.

Archon of Coronation

Released in Commander Legends this archon hails from the plane of Fiora. Given what a political clusterfuck that plane is, I don’t know what the archons political stance is, but I suppose they support whoever’s in charge (currently Marquesa).

This is the first archon with an actual bird steed (unless we count Ornitharch’s flock of birds?) which makes it stand out quite a lot. I also like the pure black face, so eerie for a White card. I guess it could be mask like a robber’s mask, which makes it funnier in my opinion.

Archon of Cruelty

Introduced in Modern Horizons 2 this one is the first non-White, mono-Black archon, which I quite dislike since it plays into the whole “Black if evil” shenigans. As we previously discussed, Archons represent the cruel side of White mana, so this makes even less sense flavourfully.

The design at least it’s interesting, with a hooved carnivore like a mesonichian with bat wings as steeds. The exact plane where it lives is not clear, but judging by the Bolas horns it might either be from the Meditation Realm (which would make it the only living thing besides the imprisoned dragon twins there) or Amonkhet, which has no precedent for archons but enough for angel-fuckery. Maybe Bolas meddled with it and that’s why it’s mono-Black?

Guardian Archon

(Apologies for image quality, it was the only large pic I could find without the card)

Debuting in Strixhaven: Commander, this owl ridding archon has a quill-end like shield, which I find it quite adorable for a sinister force of violent order. The pen might be mightier than the sword… which is why its a shield instead of a weapon. Clever girl/boy/non-binary!

Archon of the Wild Rose

We return to Eldraine with this imposing white-stag riding archon. Like previous Eldraine archons it looks quite luminous and ghostly and we actually have a reason why! Accroding to the D&D tie-in monster manual, Eldraine archons are actually deceased knights. They live at the boundaries of the wilds, marking the border between the human and fae realms. Human knights often pick up a fight with an archon in order to expand the humans’ domain, which is fruitless as the archons don’t get to decide where the boundaries are. Silly humans.

The return to Eldraine also introduces the card Archon’s Glory, showing an archon flaring before what I assume is one of Ashiok’s nightmare thingies. Not much to say except it looks pretty cool.

Ezrim

We conclude this sequel with the second legendary archon, Ezrim. From Ravnica, Ezrim started as an Azorius archon, before quitting because the other archons were apparently too much for him. He then went on to found a truth cult (ironic considering mythological archons are all about keeping the illusion of the material world) until it grew into a detective agency. He is a major character in the Murders at Karlov Manor storyline; not a lot of quirks but has quite a presence. We also see through him that an archon and steed can momentarily seperate… which he uses to file paperwork. Neat.

I like the use of browns in his depiction, like a very subdued gold. Besides the trenchcoat — working wonders to hide his face btw — he wilds a blue staff, which I assume he uses to unvield the truth. His steed is some sort of sharp toothed bull with two tails and four wings; it isn’t described in detail in the story, I’m assuming because either the final design wasn’t ready when it was written or because it’s simply not easy to described

And that’s it for now

Creative has made Archons quite a rare creature type, and have played quite a bit since we last sank our teeth, subverting both the MTG rule as White’s bad side and the mythological role as masters of illusion.

Let’s see what the future holds.

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