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Magic: The Gathering – Where Does The Story Go After War of the Spark?

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A tale that has been in the making for decades is finally reaching its completion. As War of the Spark arrives, Nicol Bolas has put his master plan into action, and has begun what can only be described as an almost complete genocide of the Planeswalkers who have been trapped on the plane of Ravnica. Using The Elderspell and the Eternals, his soul-harvesting zombie Dreadhorde from Amonkhet, Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God has begun his return to the Godhood that he lost generations ago when he aided other planeswalkers in the Mending in order to prevent the multiverse from being totally unraveled into nothing. It’s going to be a wild ride, and while we’ve gotten a glimpse into what will follow Bolas’s war against Ravnica, we do not know fully what the state of the Magic: The Gathering Multiverse will be following this latest set.

Let’s start with what we know, the most basic points of knowledge. We know that the recent string of Chandra comics, published by IDW, take place after War of the Spark, and showcase three of the surviving planeswalkers: Tibalt, Ajani, and Chandra Nalaar. This means, out of the at least 37 planeswalkers we know appeared on Ravnica during the conflict, three of them manage to escape with their sparks and their lives.

But what of the others; what of Bolas?

There are instances within the comics where readers see Chandra have nightmares of the tragedy that befell Ravnica, which we now know is the usage of the Elderspell and the deaths of Planeswalkers around him at the hands of his Eternal Dreadhorde. Later, in various scenes, she is haunted by Bolas’s claims that she, although she fashions herself as a hero, brings nothing but fiery destruction.

One thing the comics manage to avoid is the actual outcome of the invasion of Ravnica. Chandra remembers the events as a horrific tragedy, and at one point reflects on those they lost, but once again avoids naming names. What comes next, then? Ravnica surely lays in great ruin, devastated by the Dreadhorde and the Elderspell and the conflict surrounding all of it. We only just left Dominaria, Innistrad, Zendikar, Kaladesh, and Ixalan, so where else do we have to go? One of the popular theories is that the story may return to Theros, the Greek/Roman styled plane. This would allow for the return of popular planeswalker Elspeth, who has been trapped in the underworld of Theros for some time.

Another possibility is returning to somewhere like Kamigawa, a plane which has been neglected for some time, likely due to the disastrous Kamigawa sets. The reason people have their sights set here is the return of the planeswalker Tamiyo into the public eye. Tamiyo appeared first in Innistrad as a planeswalker from Kamigawa who traveled to other planes to record stories from the foreign lands. Tamiyo would not resurface proper until Shadows over Innistrad, where she was observing Avacyn’s madness until she was convinced by Jace to take up arms against the angel, and almost died in the process. Now, Tamiyo is trapped on Ravnica, forced to fight after she desired only to observe the goings-on of Ravnica. Something significant happening to her would be the perfect excuse to return to Kamigawa, and the perfect chance for Wizards to redeem themselves after their last excursion there.

Lastly, an incredibly popular theory is a return to New Phyrexia, Mirrodin. The plane was created by the planeswalker Karn, and has been corrupted by the Glistening Oil, a substance used by the horrific machine-organisms known as the Phyrexians. The Phyrexians have been attempting to spread totally throughout the multiverse, which was aided by Karn, who unknowingly carried some of the Glistening Oil inside him. He left small amounts on every plane he went to, including the plane he created, Argentum, later renamed Mirrodin after Memnarch, the first to be corrupted by the oil. The key connection point to Mirrodin is the relation that Tezzeret has to the plane and to the Phyrexians. Tezzeret, who has existed for quite awhile in Magic lore, was present on Mirrodin when the five Praetors moved to crown a new Machine Father/Machine Mother of the Phyrexians, but it has never been officially declared who ascended to that role.

What we do know, however, is that Tezzeret has something that the Phyrexians have developed and desired for total control of the Multiverse, a Planar Bridge that allows for the transfer of dead or non-organic materials across planes. If Tezzeret were ever to reignite a full extra-planar Phyrexian invasion, or if Bolas succeeds in his quest to become the Dragon-God and thinks he can do what he pleases, New Phyrexia would be the place to go. Furthermore, if Wizards of the Coast wanted to go back to New Phyrexia eventually, it wouldn’t hurt to also go and pick up Elspeth from the underworld of Theros, as she was one of the major members of the Mirrodin Resistance, alongside fan favorites like Koth, who fought the Phyrexians when they emerged on Mirrodin.

Where do you think the Magic story is headed? What do you think we will see after such a game-changing set like War of the Spark?

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  1. I wonder if we’ll ever see an Android: Netrunner videogame. I think it’s by the creators of Magic: The Gathering, but I find the theme and asymmetry more interesting.

  2. I’m shocked that out of all the planeswalkers to die, Tibalt, of all people, is a survivor! And I couldn’t be happier for him 🙂
    I’m all for going back to Kamigawa. The problems with that set are almost 100% flawed mechanics, something that can be easily fixed with a sensible design. We need more ninjutsu cards and a ninja tribal for EDH!

  3. Loved the article, but one thing. I don’t recall Bolas having anything to do with the great mending. In fact, the novel for War of the Spark even mentions his disgust with the mending even taking place

  4. I know we are traveling to a new plane, I hope it is something that involves Karn and friends (like a better Gatewatch) and it revolves around the Phyrexians! I think revisiting Mirrodin, Lorowyn and even Dominaria again would be great hits!

  5. GnashinPumpkinz on May 7, 2019 at 6:28 pm said

    I just started Magic days ago with my 32 of age… I’m late to the party but still it looks worth full jumping in… Since when does a card game have a story? I have a lot of homework to research lol.

  6. Egg

  7. I need a return to Mirrodin(New Phyrexia) or Lorwyn to happen

  8. I’m very tempted to return to Magic. Haven’t played in almost a decade.

  9. I don’t about Magic returning to Kamigawa soon. That is a legendary themed set, and yet there are so many recent sets that focused on legendary permanents as the main attraction. Sets like Dominaria, Ravnica with their new guild leaders, and War of the Spark with all them walkers. Amonkhet block and War of the Spark did the god thing, so I don’t see them returning to Theros either. We just finished a major villian arc with Bolas, so New Phyrexia is out.

    My money is on a brand new set or peanut butter jelly sandwich.

    I have been waiting forever for a Shandalar dedicated set.

  10. Velken Iakov on May 7, 2019 at 9:29 pm said

    I sure hope Bolas “wins” and make the guilds scatter and have to reform.

  11. Tanner Sorenson on May 7, 2019 at 9:33 pm said

    Hi

  12. Digital Despot on May 7, 2019 at 9:46 pm said

    With Bolas gone, there’s a huge vacuum for interesting new antagonists. In the realm of plotting and colluding, I hope we get a creature rather than another planeswalker. It would be fun to have a creature who can use wit alone to stand a chance against the extremely powerful Gatewatch. For planes to return to, I personally hope we return to Alara.

  13. Ya know, I started playing magic back in M12 and I had a lot of fun. Standard got me started and then found love in modern with the eldrazi. Emrakul is best abomination. But I never really got into the story. Might have to now.

  14. Patstrick on May 7, 2019 at 10:47 pm said

    I think we’ll return to Lorwyn (the set that debuted planeswalkers) seeing as WotS is the planeswalker set.

    What I want to return to is another future sight-esque set, just to see all of the confusion. 🙂

  15. I’ve been out of the MTG game for a few years, since before planes walking became a thing. My nephew is a huge fan and has picked up the mantle from his mom and dad. It seems I should get back into the game again and school him a thing or two. 😉

  16. KorinIronHawke on May 8, 2019 at 2:06 am said

    I miss Ride of the Eldrazi expansion.

  17. KorinIronHawke on May 8, 2019 at 2:07 am said

    I miss Rise of the Eldrazi expansion.

  18. TacoTown on May 8, 2019 at 2:42 am said

    Honestly I see the story going a whole lotta nowhere for a while, until they start making stuff up agian.

  19. Now I want to learn Magic so baaad!

  20. Jordan Rodriguez on May 8, 2019 at 3:25 am said

    Im thinking either theros or the viking plane is next. I can see an arc where Gideon becomes a god somehow, then ofc Elspeth coming back to fill the white walker void

  21. daniel prather on May 8, 2019 at 3:58 am said

    I’m just starting to get in but this was very fascinating

  22. Flett044 on May 8, 2019 at 4:04 am said

    I wonder who the antagonist is gonna be after this

  23. Perhaps throw Bolas a win and let the heroes have to rebuild this would certainly shake things up a bit

  24. I’m hoping for either Lorwyn or Kaldheim next. Both are sets whose themes I can appreciate.

  25. Hiddenneet on May 8, 2019 at 5:01 pm said

    Man got real lucky on pre-release, had 6 charmed strays

  26. I hate the virtual version. It’s all locked behind a microtransation wall. Also, the new versions suck. My dream is to play a version that all cards up to 9th edition cards are already unlocked. Lemme make my deck and play the simple yet amazing game with none of the new bs.

  27. For those desiring to play, there is UnTap.in

    I have only played war of the spark in MTG: Arena, and due to the weighted matchmaking system, I have done nothing but lost. I refuse to buy the virtual cards, considering I can’t cash them out like Magic Online, so, essentially, I have to grind away to get the tokens or whatever to get them.

    All in all, it’s a power level reminiscent of slivers, and is more than enough to be frustrating to the point that I am looking at UnTap.in as a real alternative. Either that, or just making my own MtG client that includes all cards from all sets.

  28. Eliminator on May 10, 2019 at 1:48 am said

    The story as far as the book goes is pretty bad, but what can you expect from a card game’s story.

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