MTG Character Profile: Urza

Alex KatzMagic Story

Urza, Lord High Artificer may be one of the most anticipated cards in Modern Horizons. Urza has had a huge impact on Magic’s story, but he has never been represented on a black-bordered Magic card.

After brief appearances in Vanguard and Unstable, Urza has finally arrived. Let’s take a deep dive into his life and legacy.

Urza has been a main character in Magic’s story since it began on Dominaria. He and his younger brother Mishra were trained as artificers, and they became interested in the Thran, an ancient civilization that had inhabited the continent of Terisiare. Together, they discovered a Thran powerstone buried in a cave. After fighting over who owned the powerstone, each took half, and the brothers went their separate ways.

Urza went on to become the royal artificer of Yotia and married the king’s daughter. The art of Urza, Lord High Artificer shows him at the peak of his power in Yotia, backed by the army of construct soldiers he built to defend his home. He’s not yet a planeswalker, but he’s already made a mark on the world.

From One War to the Next

Urza discovered that the cave where he and Mishra had found the powerstone contained a gateway to the plane of Phyrexia. Without the powerstone to hold the gate closed, Phyrexian agents had arrived on Dominaria and corrupted Mishra, augmenting his body with alien machines. To defeat Mishra and the Phyrexians, Urza used an ancient weapon called the Golgothian Sylex, which destroyed everything for miles around. Urza’s planeswalker spark ignited, and the blast from the Sylex brought on Dominaria’s ice age.

Urza devoted the rest of his life to seeking revenge on the Phyrexians. He founded the Tolarian Academy on Dominaria and recruited wizards from all over the plane to help him conduct research and create weapons. He genetically engineered an army of beings called the Metathran, as well as the hero Gerrard Capashen, who would lead them into battle. Urza also experimented with time travel, destabilizing the Multiverse with temporal rifts and leaving his students Jhoira and Teferi to clean things up. Finally, he persuaded eight planeswalkers to help him lead the final attack on Phyrexia.

Today, Urza is remembered both for destroying Dominarian civilization and for saving it from the Phyrexians. Four and a half thousand years after his birth, Dominaria’s universities are full of scholars studying his writing and his artifacts.


The following decklist represents Urza, the Lord High Artificer: a brilliant mage who used his unparalleled skills to wage war.

4 Ornithopter
4 Walking Ballista
4 Voltaic Servant
2 Urza, Lord High Artificer
4 Yotian Soldier
4 Juggernaut

Noncreature spells
2 Karn, Scion of Urza
4 Mechanized Production
4 Temporal Machinations
4 The Antiquities War

2 Academy Ruins
2 Tolarian Academy
20 Island