We love the Azorius Senate, so we started looking into how to best represent this absolute powerhouse of a guild on the plane of Ravnica. If anybody remembers piloting or facing Detention Sphere, Supreme Verdict and Sphinx’s Revelation during RTR/Theros Standard, you remember how much power and flavor the UW Control decks contained - it was amazing.
Background and lore
What is the Azorius Senate, and how do White and Blue come together to form it?
The Azorius Senate regulates and enforces the activities of all citizens and guilds on the plane of Ravnica. They are characterized as being super formalistic with need for knowledge - everything has a procedure and every situation has to be analyzed before action is taken. Think Jean Luc Picard from Star Trek who balances a desire to seek new life and civilization while protecting his crew and supporting the Federation. Very Blue and very White.
The White and Blue colors are similar in the way that they both want to improve the world with their own manners. While Blue is the eternal quest of perfect knowledge, White is here to promote peace. They Forecast situations and then Detain the lawbreakers.
Flavor Themes: Law, Hierarchy, Supremacy, Imprisonment, Enforcement, Rigidity, Resolution
Mechanical themes: Forecast, Detain, exiling permanents, countering spells, gaining life
Creatures: Sphinxes, Archons, Birds, Griffins, Humans
Classes: Advisors, Knights, Soldiers, Wizards
Cards with Azorius philosophy and aesthetic:
From the artist Sam Turner about his design:
My idea with this Azorius-inspired Grimoire was to reflect the omnipresent ''law & order'' mentality of the Senate. The Lyev (Azorius Enforcers) are the peacekeepers of the plane of Ravnica.
The Grimoire I am designing is a spell book to Detain and Imprison the outlaws of Ravnica. The magic runes, floating over the Grimoire are powerful words serving this purpose. The vibrant blue color symbolizes the magic power of the Senate, while the Gold and Silver represent their force and supremacy. The Azorius are rigid in law and unrelenting in their quest to planar justice.
V1 - Initial Concept: Triangle Front Centerpiece with Gems
Admittedly, This was not a good concept. Too many gems were on it and it looked too sci-fi and not enough fantasy. However, there were some cool ideas being played with here. Still, we had to move on.
V2 - Dark Judgment - Runes on Glowy Blue Triangle Gem, Brown Tome
V1 looked way too light, so we went darker - maybe a little too dark! The centerpieces were coming together to be more reminiscent of the Azorius guild symbol, but still not quite. The front centerpiece looked too much like the Tri-Force in Zelda. Time to change a few things and keep developing this Grimoire...
V3 - Azorius Lawmage’s Lawbook of Enforcing Law - Current Look
We went back to the planning board and added a more balanced color palette and further developed the centerpieces. They are now fully Azorius-esque. We wanted either side to be good enough to be the front side. Look at it - there’s runes on both sides. This spellbook now seems plated, rigid, and primed to be powerful. Now, who’s ready to put some creatures in a Detention Sphere?
We hope you enjoyed this edition of Behind the Scenes.
Written in collaboration by Grimoire Artist Sam Turner and Editor Zhou