Divinely Inspired: Oh! My Goddess Cards for Magic: the Gathering

For this week’s Magic: the Gathering article, I’d like to take you on a journey into the hobbyist-slash-enthusiast realm of creating custom cards based on fictional, non-Magic characters. There are plenty of folks who enjoy dreaming up representations of their favorite heroes, villains, or literary companions using the terms and mechanics of Magic to express how those characters would interact in the game. These cards can be a fun mental exercise or a way to design one’s own version of the game to play in an informal setting.

For today’s article, I designed cards for four of the main characters from the Japanese anime series “Oh! My Goddess,” specifically, the 26-episode rendition that aired back in 2005. I’ve found this series quite faithful to the original manga (written and illustrated by Kosuke Fujishima) and believe it shows a good range of each character’s talents and personalities. The characters I chose are the three main goddesses: the kind and helpful Belldandy, her alluring and often interfering older sister, Urd, and her technologically adept yet child-like younger sister, Skuld; as well as the humble engineering student whose life they change forever, Keiichi Morisato.

To represent the scope of their overall powers and abilities, I chose to design each of the goddesses using the planeswalker model, with Keiichi designed as a legendary (mortal) creature.

Belldandy, Merciful Goddess

Let’s start with Belldandy. To me, Belldandy is a solidly white-aligned character: she believes in peace, harmony, generosity, and selflessness.

Belldandy, Merciful Goddess

I designed her abilities to shield others from damage, dispel harmful or interfering enchantments, and send her foes back to their own realms and out of harm’s way. Many times throughout the anime, Belldandy discovered and unraveled spells cast by demons and spirits upon Keiichi and her friends, so exiling Auras made for a good fit here. She also exiles rather than destroys with her third ability; this keeps with her peace-loving nature. As Belldandy is willing to help anyone in need, she has the highest starting loyalty of the goddesses.

Urd, Impulsive Goddess

Next comes Urd. While she ultimately has good intentions in mind, Urd is driven by passion and impulsiveness, making her a perfect fit for red’s part of the color pie.

Urd, Impulsive Goddess

The black-aligned part of her color identify comes from both her demon heritage as well as her tendency towards selfishness and satisfying her own desires, often at the expense of others. Urd has great power, but she lacks precision, so I designed the random nature of her second ability to represent her occasional misfires. Her ultimate ability reflects the charms and potions Urd creates to control and manipulate others’ actions.

Skuld, Inventor Goddess

Skuld is a brilliant engineer and legendary for her talents with machines, so an artifact-themed build was the natural direction for her. Like Urd, she can also be impulsive, so I made her color identity blue/red (similar to the theme of the Izzet guild from Ravnica).

Skuld, Inventor Goddess

Skuld never fails to build in a self-destruct feature in her creations, so her tokens all have that ability. I designed her second ability as a way of representing her innate magical talent with protecting her machines from harm. Since planeswalkers to date have no instant-speed abilities, I added the errata about casting this only on your turn. For her ultimate ability, I wanted to showcase Skuld’s talents in turning any mundane device into a living machine. To avoid this becoming too broken rules-wise, I limited it to single use versus a persistent emblem. Also notice that it doesn’t affect the tokens she creates with her first ability.

Keiichi Morisato

Keiichi Morisato

Keiichi was the most challenging of the four to design. He, like Skuld, is very talented with machines, and shares Belldandy’s compassion for others. This, coupled with his innocent demeanor, made Keiichi a solid fit for blue/white. But, how to represent his relationship with the goddesses and his penchant for getting in mishaps due to their presence? The first clause gives him extra defenses in their presence to illustrate how he’s ultimately protected by the goddesses, but only when they’re around. Obviously, this limits his play potential, but I didn’t want this to say he’d be protected by any planeswalker, as I can’t imagine Garruk or Liliana taking him under their care. I also think it shows the physical vulnerabilities he has on his own. Keiichi’s second, simpler clause shows his talent in fixing machines and giving them new life. It’s basic, in part because it’s intended to be less flashy than the goddesses’ abilities.

How I Made the Cards

Each of these cards were designed using the outstanding and versatile Magic Set Editor program. I’ve attached the set file with this article so you can add Keiichi and the goddesses to your set, or for you to modify them as you see fit. If you do create your own versions, link to them in the comments. I’d love to see them!

Oh! My Goddess Magic card set file

About brightmatrix

brightmatrix is a long-time casual gamer. His gaming journey has included Magic: the Gathering, the first, second, and fourth edition Dungeons & Dragons, and the first wave White Wolf games from the late 90s. If you are a denizen of the Twitterverse, you can read his posts on Magic, web development, puns, and other shenanigans at @brightmatrix.

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