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Tarkir of the Khans

Zurgo Helmsmasher, a huge orc and the current Mardu khan, rules from atop the Wingthrone, a throne made from the dragon's skull. He commands the movement of Mardu raiding parties, relying on scouts and seers to deploy his troops, and striking where his clan's speed can exploit gaps in others' preparations.

Zurgo was present at the battle where Sarkhan Vol's Planeswalker spark ignited. Many of their own Mardu clan were killed when Sarkhan unleashed a torrent of dragonfire across the battlefield. Zurgo survived, but by the time he reached Sarkhan's location, Sarkhan had already disappeared. In the aftermath, Zurgo claimed victory and became a hero, quickly rising to leadership over the clan. Zurgo has sworn vengeance against Sarkhan.

"Those who ride will conquer, while those who stop to meditate will die. Fast horses and good bows make better war gear than all the monasteries and siege machines in the world."

"Only the weak imprison themselves behind walls. We live free under the wind, and our freedom makes us strong."

"I came seeking a challenge. All I found was you."

"You have returned from fire, traitor. This time I will see you leave as ashes." -Zurgo, to Sarkhan Vol

"Do you hear that, Sarkhan? The glory of the horde! I made a legend from what you abandoned."

Tarkir of the Dragons

In the timeline where dragons survived and thrived on Tarkir, Zurgo is known as Zurgo Bellstriker.

This new timeline has been unkind to Zurgo, Sarkhan's former rival and the other-time khan of the Mardu clan. A huge orc with a short temper, Zurgo has been reduced to serving as an attendant to the dragonlord Kolaghan. Zurgo sleeps shallowly, camping out at Kolaghan's side, always alert for the slightest movement of the dragon. For when Kolaghan stirs to battle, it is Zurgo's job to sound the alarm. He strikes the clan's dragonbell with his greatsword, rousing the warriors to fight. Although his duty is to attend and herald Kolaghan, Zurgo is still an adept warrior. He has his own personal retinue of followers; they would be greater in number if he would cease killing hangers-on or leading his faithful into bloody battles with no purpose other than ensure their loyalty.


Sarkhan was eager to take vengeance on Zurgo until he saw how lowly his old foe had become. (Duress)


Duress, Kolaghan's Command, Zurgo Bellstriker, Zurgo Helmsmasher (SvC), Zurgo Helmsmasher