Chandra Nalaar

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Chandra Nalaar, doing what she does best.

Chandra Nalaar is a Planeswalker specialised in KILLING IT WITH FIRE. A very typical red-aligned Planeswalker, she is passionate, impulsive, FIGHTS DA POWAH and is quite tsundere. She's also a bit of a Mary Sue.

Origins[edit]

Chandra grew up in urban Kaladesh where she became a smuggler of Æther. This career did not last long. She got into an argument with a group of tinkerers, but when they tried to punish her, her hands lit on fire. After fighting off the tinkerers, she was pursued by the soldiers of Captain Baral, a feared warrior. They chased her into the depths of a warehouse of artifacts, where she fended off an artifact defense system before blowing up the whole place. She and her family fled to live in the countryside, where Chandra practiced her pyromancy on the local wildlife. However, Captain Baral and his soldiers found her and lit the village on fire. They slew her father and captured Chandra. Finally, Baral towered over her, prepared to slay her, but in that moment, her Planeswalker spark ignited and let out an explosion of fire that transported her to another realm of fire monks. They had witnessed her fiery entry, and took her in to teach her to control her pyromancy. [1]

Chandra as she appears in Eternal Blaze. I would like to remind you that this is an actual thing that exists.

The Purifying Fire[edit]

Some years after her ascension Chandra was living at Keral Keep on the plane of Regatha. A monastery for pyromancers founded by the legendary pyromancer and fountain of one-liners Jaya Ballard (Task Mage), Chandra's idol and spiritual liege, the place came under threat of the Order of Heliud, a white-aligned planar institution bent on bringing all the worlds of the Multiverse into the fold, with force if needed. While she was trying to steal a scroll from said order she encountered Gideon Jura who used his three-bladed whip to incapacitate and capture her. Chandra escaped by using the tried and tested technique of gaining new abilities as the plot requires. She (with Gideon in pursuit) landed on a plane called Diraden where because of a powerful plane-spanning enchantment there was only black mana. The plane's vampire lord had nefarious plans for the two, but Chandra destroyed him and the enchantment with the powers of shouting and willpower while developing tsundere feelings for Gideon. Returning to Regatha, Chandra surrendered to the Order of Heliud to avoid the destruction of Keral Keep. Though she expected to be executed, Chandra faced a worse fate: she was to be thrown into the titular Purifying Fire that would strip her of her abilities. As horrified as Chandra is, Gideon tells her that the Fire accepts those with a "clean soul". So she delivers her backstory to him, relieving her of her burden and when she was lead into the Purifying Fire, she felt more empowered than ever. Chandra stepped out and with a massive trollface she leveled the cavern the Fire was in, taking out the leadership of the Order of Heliud with it. This upsets Gideon, but Chandra tells him that the Order of Heliud is responsible for destroying her village and thus by extension he was the demons. And then Gideon was a zombie disillusioned with the Order while Chandra left for Zendikar.

Tangling with Jace Beleren[edit]

So far Chandra has encountered Jace Beleren twice. The first time was when she had stolen a scroll on the plane of Kephalai. The local authorities hired the Infinite Consortium to get it back, who in turn send Jace Beleren to carry out the task. He dueled with Chandra at Keral Keep, overpowered her and took the scrolls along with her memories of its contents. What he did not know that Chandra had given the scroll to the scribes of the Keep to be copied, rendering Jace's actions near irrelevant. That is, until they discovered that the copy they made was incomplete and Chandra had to steal the scroll again, starting the events of The Purifying Fire.

The second time she encountered the mind-mage was at the Eye of Ugin. After shenanigans featuring the deaths of several guides on the hostile plane of Zendikar and another encounter with a vampire with less than friendly intentions, she was saved by Sarkhan Vol who lead her to the Eye. This is where he turned into a dragon and announced his plan to kill her as a sacrifice. Alone and close to being killed, Jace encountered the duo and helped Chandra against the insane Planeswalker. Jace had figured out the riddle on the scroll that Chandra had stolen and urged her to cast a spell of "sheer fire, a flame without heat". The spell worked, and with Jace twincasting the spell they defeated Sarkhan. This left Jace temporary vulnerable, and while Chandra amused the thought of killing him on the spot to get rid of him, she did not hurt him. She left the plane in search of the person who told her about the scroll with the intention of kicking some ass, but it is likely that this person is an agent of the Lord of the Blind Eternities.

Return to Keral Keep[edit]

Word in the High Market is that Chandra returned to Regatha for while, to help the young pyromancers learn to set things on fire. But the planes call to us all, and she soon received word of the events taking place on Zendikar.

Battle for Zendikar[edit]

Chandra returned to Zendikar to find it in the grip of an apocalyptic conflict between the native population (assisted by Gideon Jura, Jace Beleren, Nissa Revane, Ugin, and Kiora) and the Eldrazi titans Ulamog and Kozilek. The first thing she did was to burn Ob Nixilis, who had awakened Kozilek and tortured the Gatewatch out of revenge, and freeing the other three, sent him planeswalking. She then called up all of Zendikar's mana, and pumped it into a fireblast to the tentacles of Ulamog and Kozilek, now rendered mortal by judicious application of hedrons and leylines. With the Eldrazi threat on Zendikar contained, but Emrakul's whereabouts were unknown, the planeswalkers made an agreement to guard the plane against her return.

Shadows over Innistrad[edit]

Chandra and the rest of the Gatewatch arrived on Innistrad in time to find the situation absolutely horrifying, even by Innistrad's standards. Nahiri had succeeded in calling Emrakul to the plane, and the elder Eldrazi's influence was twisting werewolves and angels into horrifying abominations. Sorin Markov and the vampires were mustering for war against Nahiri, and human society was on the brink of collapse (again). Chandra, along with Gideon and Liliana (and a bunch of zombies she took control of) stabilized things a little while Jace, Tamiyo, and Nissa sealed Emrakul in the moon. To the extent that Emrakul has some form of communication understandable to humans, it seems that she kind of wanted to be in the moon.

Kaladesh[edit]

Chandra's next stop was her own home plane, where the Gatewatch got caught up in the events surrounding the Inventor's Fair. The fair had been co-opted by Tezzeret, who somehow learned that one of the inventions was a "planar bridge". Despite not visibly taking advantage of Chandra's knowing where all the best restaurants are, the Gatewatch aided a freedom struggle led by none other than Chandra's mother. Tezzeret, however, escaped to parts unknown.

Amonkhet[edit]

Chandra and the Gatewatch followed Tezzeret to Amonkhet, where they found a sophisticated, functioning society - but it was one they didn't personally like, so they decided to overthrow it. Chandra's ability to break stuff came in handy when they found people buried alive in sarcophagi, but everything kind of went south when Nicol Bolas himself arrived. All five members of the Gatewatch attacked him, but that went pretty much exactly as you would expect. Chandra left Amonkhet bloodied but (presumably) unbowed.

Manga[edit]

Chandra appears in the Manga adaptation of The Purifying Fire, called Eternal Blaze. Here she appears as far more moe than she is in her Western depictions, mainly because making a woman not adorable in Japanese comics/cartoons is a capital offense in Japan.

Cards[edit]

Like all of the original five, Chandra has three different cards representing her. Chandra and Garruk are now super special snowflakes and have 4 cards each. Like all of the Lorwyn Five, except Liliana, Chandra now has four different cards representing her. Chandra now has eight different planeswalker cards. Eight.

All of the Chandra's
Card Expert Commentary
Chandra 1.jpg

Chandra-nalaar-nipponese-promo.jpg

The first, Chandra Nalaar, is an obvious Timmy card: her first ability pings a player for 1, her second is a Blaze powered by her loyalty counters and the third deals 10 damage to a player and his creatures, sweeping the board for a finishing attack. Starts with a massive 6 Loyalty and costs 5. This version doesn't get a lot of use because five mana is usually too much for a red deck, if the game lasts long enough for them to play it then it means that it's not going the way it should for them, she costs way too much for he abilities do, and her ultimate takes way too long to get enough loyalty for. Has a Japan only promo version with much better art.
Chandra 2.jpg The second, Chandra Ablaze, is more of a Johnny card: her first ability makes you discard a card that pings a creature/player for 4 if the discarded card is red (you will not discard anything else unless you are a true Johnny or perhaps a Melvin), the second makes all players discard and draw 3 (useful if your hand is empty or you like to mess with your opponent), and the third allows you to cast any number of non-permanents from your graveyard for free which is a game-ender unless you're doing it wrong. Has 5 loyalty and costs 6. Like the regular version of her, however, this one is still too expensive for any self-respecting red deck.
Chandra 3.jpg The third, Chandra, the Firebrand, takes more after the first card: her first ability pings a creature/player for 1, second lets you copy the next non-permanent you cast (do this for massive damage), the last deals 6 damage to up to six target creatures/players. Costs only 4 to cast but has 3 loyalty. This one actually has some use, unlike the last two, since you can use it copy a good burn spell like lightning bolt or shock.
Chandrapyromaster.jpg Chandra, Pyromaster, is... interesting. Her first ability pings a player for 1, and then pings one of their creatures for 1 while also preventing it from blocking that turn. Her second ability, and the only Chandra ability to have a cost of 0, allows you to exile the top card of your library and play it later in the turn. Her final ability is a massive -7 and is debatable as either amazing or total shit. It forces you to exile the top ten cards of your Library. You can then choose a sorcery or instant from among those 10 and cast if three times for free. This ability can lead to some hilarious plays (especially in a multi-colored deck), but with bad luck can just end up milling you while doing little to your opponent. As a 4 cost for 4 loyalty and with the abilities she has, she's probably the most cost-effective Chandra to date, and even without risking her -7 is definitely playable. And look! She has hair!
Chandra FoK.jpg

Chandra RF.jpg

Chandra, now available in flip card edition! Given the amount of mana/time (1RR to cast + the cost of spells to to untap her + 3 turns of +1 loyalty) it takes before she is capable of doing anything interesting, she is unplayed outside of commander, where her -7 becomes more valuable.
Chandra Fc.jpg Intended for slower decks. The repeating threats can be useful in attrition wars, and she also offers an inefficient but hard-to-stop way to draw cards.
Chandra Pg.jpg Created for a Planeswalker deck, a product for new players. Unplayable outside of commander.
Chandra ToD.jpg Chandra, now with 4 abilities! As of now, she, Jace, Garruk, and Nicol Bolas have a version with four abilities - a pretty exclusive club! Gameplay-wise, this version is not quite a red Mind Sculptor, but all of her abilities are useful under at least some circumstances and her casting cost is excellent to apply pressure to an opponent.


Planeswalkers of Magic: The Gathering
Original Five: Ajani Goldmane - Chandra Nalaar
Garruk Wildspeaker - Jace Beleren - Liliana Vess
Alara: Elspeth Tirel - Nicol Bolas - Sarkhan Vol - Tezzeret
Zendikar: Gideon Jura - Nissa Revane - Sorin Markov
Scars of Mirrodin: Karn - Koth of the Hammer - Venser
Innistrad: Tamiyo - Tibalt
Return to Ravnica: Domri Rade - Ral Zarek - Vraska
Theros: Ashiok - Kiora - Xenagos
Tarkir: Ugin - Narset
Kaladesh: Dovin Baan - Saheeli Rai
Amonkhet: Samut
Other: Dack Fayden - Vivien Reid
Commander 2014: Daretti - Freyalise - Nahiri - Ob Nixilis - Teferi
Pre-mending: Bo Levar - Commodore Guff - Jaya Ballard - Urza
The Gatewatch

See also[edit]