The Simic Combine is Ravnica’s steward of nature and the wild; its mission is to preserve and advance the natural world even as Ravnica’s cities continue to grow. The guild seeks to protect the elements of the plane that are incompatible or mutually exclusive with its overpopulated, urban conditions. This is not easy, of course, because the forces of civilization are so prevalent on Ravnica that they threaten to subsume anything that runs counter to them. But the Simic practice a strange combination of detachment and holism that provide a kind of separation from the larger urban systems—a separation on which their conservation mission depends. The regal and reticent merfolk woman named Zegana is the current guildmaster of the Simic Combine.
Simic Guild Structure
Zonots. A zonot is a huge sinkhole that leads all the way down to the Ravnican oceans, and each serves as a distinct Simic habitat—sort of an oversized, inverted skyscraper. Each zonot has a different culture, ecosystem, and racial distribution, as well as a speaker.
- Zonot One. The first to open, Zonot One appeared in a remote area far away from the Tenth District. This is Speaker Zegana's home zonot, although she spends most of her time in Zonot Seven, where the Simic main guildhall is located. Zonot One is the smallest zonot and has a somewhat somber feeling compared to others.
- Zonot Four. The largest of the zonots has the marine troll Trifon as its speaker. The culture here is more brutal and direct than elsewhere, and the residents are larger on average, too.
- Zonot Five. The Simic tend to be insular, but this zonot has become a tourist destination—a place where the guildless can come to see the ocean as well as to observe Simic life. Rather than discourage this, the Simic created the Helical Stair here to draw more visitors.
- Zonot Seven. The only zonot inside the boundaries of the Tenth District, Zonot Seven is home to the guildhall, the Zameck. As one would expect, this is the busiest and most densely populated zonot.
Clades. Simic guild members are organized by clade rather than by species, role, or caste. Each clade is the natural-world equivalent of a project team: diverse individuals adapted to different tasks, yet related by a common goal. Clades often exist solely within a single zonot, but they need not do so, and large clades span two or more Simic communities. Some of the clades include:
- Hull Clade. This clade's focus is on protection, defense, durability, and the like. Its projects range from the strengthening of exoskeletons to the stabilization of zonot walls.
- Fin Clade. The study of movement is this clade's focus—both literal movement of creatures (especially flying creatures) as well as, for example, movement of resources through systems.
- Crypsis Clade. This secretive clade develops strategies for obscuring other guilds' views of the Simic. This includes literal camouflage as well as magic designed to hide knowledge or operations.
- Gyre Clade. Cyclical patterns and metamagic are this clade's specialization. Projects include finding ways to redirect or nullify magic and advancing nature.
Simic Attitudes Toward Other Guilds
- Azorius: "The Senate is well intentioned and far-sighted. But its insistence on caution and control paralyzes it. This is unfortunate, because the surface world needs its leadership, even if we do not."
- Orzhov: "No other guild poses so great a threat to us and our mission. The Orzhov replace intellect with obedience and strength with money. They are the greatest enemies of nature and Ravnica's people."
- Dimir: "Such a disappointing waste of knowledge and insight. They do nothing but transform information into a currency with which to buy power and privilege. In time, life will conquer their deathly, shallow machinations."
- Izzet: "Their efforts are to be admired and learned from, but their disregard for natural systems reveals the short-sightedness of their thinking. Life will in time devise smarter solutions than the Izzet could ever concoct."
- Rakdos: "We must strive not to understand them, but to understand why they are allowed to persist—what needs they fulfill for the citizenry. In the meantime, treat them as rabid animals. Keep your distance."
- Golgari: "If they desired allies, we would be their closest. But they focus too much on the viciousness of natural cycles, even turning against their own. They have no patience for anything that doesn't yield power."
- Gruul: "Their base desires keep them at the fringes. Our patient, measured adaptation will prevent us from suffering the same fate. When they come to us for aid, we will not turn them away."
- Boros: "A dangerous combination of emotion and organization. Whether acting of their own accord or under the influence of an external force, the Legion turns its fears and desires into effective aggression."
- Selesnya: "The Conclave understands holism but impedes progress with a layer of mysticism. We admire their collectivism but not their dogmatism. We strive to retain specialization rather than suppressing it."