Wurms

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Wurms in Magic are traditionally large limbless terrestrial reptiles. These wurms have an endoskeleton, reptilian scales or plates, and a saurian head similar to a dragon's. [1] [2] They may be aligned with any color of Magic, but most are wholly or partially green. Over the years and sets Wurms have evolved in Magic into more of giant Worms. [3] Most wurms are forest dwellers. They are preternaturally hungry and relentless when pursuing their prey.

Origin[edit | edit source]

Wurms trace their origin to the Elder Dragon Wars, during which the vastly powerful Elder Dragons that were defeated were stripped of their power, limbs, and wings, thereby becoming the Elder Land Wurms. The Elder Land Wurms are the forbears of all other wurms.

Types[edit | edit source]

Wurms from different planes can have vastly different morphologies, especially in their head and jaw anatomies.

Alara[edit | edit source]

Upon Alara, the wurms occupy the lower reaches of Jund where they displayed a behavior more akin to dragons than normal. After the Conflux, the wurms were pressed into the service of Bant as living siege engines. [4]

Dominaria[edit | edit source]

Elder land wurms[edit | edit source]

Elder Land Wurms are creatures of immense power that are the descendents of the original Elder Dragons. During the Elder Dragon Wars, the surviving victors of the war went on the spawn the races of the Lesser Elders, dragons, drakes, and viashino. The losers of the war, the Elder Land Wurms, were stripped of their power and even their limbs, and became the ancient ancestors of modern-day wurms. These beasts might have been stripped of most of their power, but they are still fearsome opponents. A thigh bone of one such creature was found – along with four dead Craw Wurms and a Craw Giant Chieftain – at the site of the supposed last battle of the Ironclaw Orcs.

Craw Wurms[edit | edit source]

Craw Wurms are one of the more common types of Wurms. One was summoned by the Kieryn Elves while fighting against the Calthyn Elves in the White Woods of Corondor. Also, corpses of four such wurms were found at the site of the last great battle of the Ironclaw Orcs.

Johtull wurms[edit | edit source]

These bizarre creatures looked nothing like any other kind of wurm, having strange, flattened heads and insect-like limbs. They appeared on Terisiare during the Ice Age. One of them killed Zillegeth of Clan Ruby.

Sukurvian wurms[edit | edit source]

Deadly wurms from the Sukurvian Desert located in southern Jamuraa.

Otarian wurms[edit | edit source]

Otarian Wurms look a lot like Craw Wurms, except for their flattened mouths. Some of them are known to possess metamorphic abilities. Others have begun a symbiotic relationship with Otaria’s insects.

Scaled wurms[edit | edit source]

It is said that these creatures embody the worst of the Ice Age on Dominaria. A very large Scaled Wurm known as Rhindle terrorized Kjeldor during the last few decades of the Ice Age.

Scoria wurms[edit | edit source]

These wurms have multiple jaws and live in the volcanic rivers under Shiv.

Trench wurms[edit | edit source]

Trench wurms are strange-looking, three-pointed-beak wurms. As these wurms do not look typically Phyrexian, but they were nonetheless deployed in the battle at the Caves of Koilos, it is possible that these were transplanted by Yawgmoth from another plane.

Water wurms[edit | edit source]

These creatures seem very out of place among the other wurms, for they are the blue wurms and are very small compared to the others. There is a chance they are just misnamed worms. [5]

Innistrad[edit | edit source]

The wurms of Innistrad feast on graveyards, full of bodies ripe for their gullets. Three species of wurms exist on Innistrad: the boneyard, gravetiller wurm, and pathbreaker wurm.

The boneyard wurms feed on graveyards. They seek out corpses wherever they can be found. They are capable of eating meat that would be too rotten for almost anything else to digest; they would rip rotting corpses out of graveyards, strip the body of meat, and leave a pile behind. Boneyard wurms get their name from the fields of excavated bones that they make near graveyards. Physically, the boneyard wurm is long and slender, with an angular, horned head. Their size varied considerably, because those that lived near graveyards were far larger than those that had to live off of dead creatures in the wild.

The gravetiller wurm is a species that had not been seen on Innistrad before the rise of demons. It has been described as a malevolent, primordial force that came "as though waking to watch the slaughter [of the Innistrad humans]." Gravetillers were so called because they thrived on bodies that had recently died. They would look ofr fresh graves, tear the body out of the ground, and feed on it. Similarly to boneyard wurms, gravetillers were far larger in areas with many deaths.

The pathbreaker wurm, unlike the boneyard and gravetiller wurms, did not specifically eat bodies. Pathbreaker wurms were fairly common across Innistrad, often dwelling in forests. Pathbreaker wurms were less malevolent and feared than the other Innistrad wurms. Some inhabitants of the plane actually learned to ride the wurms, using them as massive weapons against the demons and other dark forces. Pathbreaker wurms had heavily armored heads, with no visible eyes. The armor allowed the pathbreaker wurm to act like a living battering ram, and their riders could use them to trample enemies.

Mirrodin[edit | edit source]

Slagwurms[edit | edit source]

Slagwurms are the largest type of wurms on Mirrodin. These creatures lived in the Tangle on Mirrodin. They are known to dig huge tunnels. They compete for nesting ground around the Radix. Slagwurms all have large heads covered in natural armor plating; as a result, they have small, weak eyes. The people of Mirrodin made armor from slagwurm plating. The armor was tough and effective, and cheap and easy to make, as long as the armor of a slagwurm was on hand.

Several types of slagwurm exist: the engulfing slagwurm is known for devouring its prey whole, and is capable of eating basically any type of creature. Plated slagwurms are giant creatures--they are even larger than engulfing slagwurms--covered in defenseive plates. Their plates can deflect almost any type of attack. The roaring slagwurm is the smallest type of slagwurm on Mirrodin. It is, however, capable of killing many smaller creatures easily. Its roar can disable nearby machines for a short time.

During the Phyrexian invasion of Mirrodin, the Phyrexians compleated several types of wurms. At first, they created the wurmcoil engine, a mechanical type of wurm with no living flesh. It The wurmcoil engine was equipped with fast-acting toxins that could easily kill most creatures; the engine could also harvest the flesh from its victims, feeding the Phyrexian cause. If the engine was about to be destroyed, it could separate into two parts as a method of escape. One of the segments held the engine's toxins, while the other harvested living matter.

As the Phyrexian invasion progressed, Phyrexia started to compleat Mirrodin's living wurms. The Praetor Vorinclex enjoyed compleating living slagwurms; the quilled slagwurm was one of Vorinclex's creations. Vorinclex removed the wurm's teeth to make it a more efficient killer. The wurm would simply swallow its prey whole, rather than chew it up first. The quilled slagwurm was a compleated version of the plated slagwurm; it lost its armor plates, which drastically changed its appearance, and allowed it to move faster, but made it more vulnerable to attacks. The massacre wurm was the first example of this; it was most likely some type of slagwurm at first--possibly a decayed roaring slagwurm, judging by its size--but was improved. The massacre wurm's very presence rotted and drained all life near it. The massacre wurm was one of Phyrexia's most powerful creatures, and one of its best examples of compleation.

Ravnica[edit | edit source]

The wurms of Ravnica most often are found wreaking havoc in the Gruul wilds or have been trained by the Selesnyan Conclave. [6] [7] The Golgari have also been known to raise wurms as zombies.

The Guild of Selesnya used worms as living weapons; they covered the wurms' heads in giant metal plates, turning them into battering rams. The siege wurm and armada wurm are both Selesnyan, as is the massive autochthon wurm, one of the largest creatures on Ravnica--second in size only to the worldspine wurm. The autochthon wurm is so long that it was said that it took an entire day to walk from its head to its tail.

The Gruul Clans used three types of wurms to wreak havoc: the ruination wurm was a giant creature capable of easily wreaking a building. The streetbreaker worm was lightly smaller than the ruination wurm, but was no less destructive; it would burrow underground, before bursting onto the surface and causing massive destruction. The streetbreaker was more segmented than the ruination wurm, with an angular, draconic head. Finally, the Gruul used the battering wurm. This species was segmented, similarly to the streetbreaker, but it was more insect-like; it had small, vestigial legs on some of its segments.

The worldspine wurm is the largest species of creature on the entire plane of Ravnica. Worldspines are not associated with any Guild; they are extremely rare, and are too powerful to tame. Worldspine wurms, besides being able to pulverize entire districts of Ravnica, are nearly impossible to kill. They can survive being cut into multiple pieces; the pieces can simply grow into more worlspine wurms. The worldpine has a unique physiological feature among wurms on Ravnica: rather than having a two-part mouthpiece, the worldspine has a round mouth ringed with teeth. Each segment has its own mouth, so each segment can theoretically consume food if the segment in front of it is removed.

Zendikar[edit | edit source]

The wurms of Zendikar vary widely in size; some of them are smaller than many other wurms, while others are massive.

Whiptails are the smallest type of Zendikari wurm. A whiptail has a red, slender body with rows of small ridges on the top; the ridges near the wurm's head are larger than the rest. The whiptail has a set of two primary fangs--for killing its prey--with many other smaller teeth, for gripping prey. The whiptail lives encased in solid stone, usually in the Akoum mountains. Because of this, it is excellent at sensing prey from a long distance. According to Jalun, an Affa sentry, "Measuring that distance has been...difficult." The whiptail is a belligerent creature; it attacks whatever it things it can kill. It attacks by bursting out of the ground and using its long tail was a whip to smash the prey against nearby terrain.

Another common type of Zendikari wurm is the vastwood gorger. The gorger is a massive species that lives in Oran-Rief, the Vastwood. Gorgers have huge, powerful bodies capable of devouring large creatures whole. They are called gorgers because of their massive appetite; a single gorger can devour large areas with ease. All of the gorger's vital organs are housed in its head. The rest of the wurm's colossal body is a chain of many stomachs that digest the huge amount of food that the gorger consumes. The vastwood gorger's mouth has four mouthpieces, which surround an extended throat. The mouthpieces surround the throat, which has its own secondary mouth, with small teeth.

The second-smallest Zendikari wurm is the broodhunter wurm. This species has only recently appeared on Zendikar; its appearance coincides with the Eldrazi onslaught. The species aggressively attacks any Eldrazi nearby. The broodhunter has the same type of mouth as the vastwood gorger: four mouthpieces surrounding an extended, external throat. One theory is that the broodhunter is simply a subspecies of the vastwood gorger, created by the Roil to fight the Eldrazi. This would explain how it prioritizes Eldrazi as its main prey. While the broodhunter is smaller than the gorger, it is possible that it evolved that way to increase its stealth, a trait important in hunting Eldrazi.

Wurm tokens[edit | edit source]

Token Color Type P/T Additional Rules Source
Wurm Black Creature - Wurm 6/6
Green Creature - Wurm 5/5 Trample
Green Creature - Wurm 6/6
Green Creature - Wurm */*
Colorless Artifact Creature - Wurm 3/3 Deathtouch
Colorless Artifact Creature - Wurm 3/3 Lifelink

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Doug Beyer. (November 14, 2007.) "Drakes and Dragons, Wurms and Worms", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Doug Beyer. (August 10, 2011.) "Magic's Exclusive Creatures", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater. (September 05, 2015.) "Any trivia on my favorite creatures Wurms?", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  4. Magic Arcana. (June 08, 2009.) "Sketches: Enlisted Wurm", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Doug Beyer. (December 12, 2007.) "Goodies from the Mailbag", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Magic Arcana. (October 04, 2005.) "Ravnica Style Guide: Selesnya", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Magic Arcana. (October 12, 2005.) "Sketches: Autochthon Wurm", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Magic Arcana. (May 30, 2002.) "Bambi Meets Wurm", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Magic Arcana. (March 21, 2006.) "Guildpact Token Art 1", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.