Viashino are a race of lizardfolk descended from dragons native to the planes of Magic: The Gathering. Aligned with Red Mana, they are one of the more common races of that mana, alongside goblins, and are known to inhabit the planes of Dominaria, Alara and Ravnica. Whilst details vary between the different planes, in general, they are extremely strong and quick-moving, but lack resilience. They made their debut in the card block Mirage and in the novel The Prodigal Sorcerer.
In Dominaria, viashino are the main civilization on the Shivan sands. In addition to Shiv, they may be found throughout the Burning Isles and as far west as Jamuraa. The viashino live in clan communities, each of which led by a bey, who serves as a combination of philosopher and military leader, and have a society of warriors. In spite of the emphasis on militarism and their warrior code, the viashino are also known for their metalsmithing and crafts.
Viashino are constantly skirmishing with the Goblins, which are also native to Shiv; the Ghitu tribe of humans; and even the Shivan dragons themselves. In the face of any outside adversity, the viashino often become staunch allies of the goblins and the Ghitu.
The viashino of Tamingazin live in the city Berimish. The city does not have any stairs, as they prefer to use climbing poles. Older viashino “retire to the breeding house” and they don’t know their own gender until they reach maturity.
Dominarian viashino have the most standard lizardfolk form of their people, appearing as hunched, wiry-yet-muscular reptilian humanoids with long tails and thin necks, covered in scales of a green or brownish hue. They have the ability to swim through sand as if it were water, which they exploit in combat as a way to easily ambush victims.
On the Alaran shard of Jund, the viashino possess a crocodilian or komodo-like form. They form self-organized groups referred to as thrashes; four thrashes have been featured in cards (Thorn Thrash, Carrion Thrash, Thunder Thrash, and Skyclaw Thrash). These viashino are far more savage than their relatives on Dominaria; they're cannibalistic, eating anything they can catch, and are initially presented as voracious humanoid predators that eat to live and live to eat, although they became more civilized as Jund was fleshed out.
On the shard of Grixis, necromancers have found the remains of viashino and resurrected them as zombies or skeletons. After the Conflux, the viashino of Jund were confronted by their primitive, beastly counterparts on Naya.
In Ravnica, viashino are physically similar to their kinsfolk from Dominaria, save for the presence of a blade-sharp bony protrusion at the end of their tails, which they wield as a deadly natural weapon. In temperament, however, they more closely resemble the viashino of Alara; they are known cannibals and have a savage temperament, although whether this is their true nature or a result of their strong ties to the Gruul Clans is unknown. In fact, almost every single Ravnican viashino card released has portrayed them as a Gruul Clan member, but the MtG wiki claims they are also found amongst the Boros Legion, Izzet League and Cult of Rakdos.
Ravnican viashino lack the concept of a "bey", and, for obvious reasons, have no ability to sand-swim. They tend to be green more frequently than their Dominarian kinsfolk. One strange note is that Ravnican viashino cards always refer to them as "its"; this may indicate that, like the Tamingazin viashino on Dominaria, they are gender-neutral for much of their life.
Dungeons & Dragons
Ravnican Viashino were initially hinted as being one of the races translated to Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition by the Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica splatbook. They even made a debut in a "race playtest" themed article of Unearthed Arcana, with the following statblock, but strangely they were removed from the book proper. Instead, DMs are just told to use ordinary Lizardfolk instead... which makes no sense; common lizardfolk would be fine for Jundian Viashino, as both races are thick-skinned, swamp-dwelling, lumbering, vaguely crocodilian predators, but the Ravnican Viashino is a quick, agile, fast-moving reptilian being which relies on lashing foes to death with its bladed tail rather than biting them.
- +2 Dexterity, +1 Strength
- Base speed 30 feet
- Bite: natural weapon, does 1d4 + Str mod Piercing damage.
- Lashing Tail: if an enemy within 5 feet does damage to you with a melee attack, you can use your reaction to make an unarmed strike against that creature that, on a hit, does 1d4 + Str mod Slashing damage.
- Wiry Frame:: You have Proficiency in either Acrobatics or Stealth.