Set Information

The Final Chapter in a Years-Long Story Reaches Its Climax in War of the Spark

On 27 April 2019, a huge chapter in Magic: The Gathering's history ends. Up to that point, Nicol Bolas' conflict with the Gatewatch was Wizard of the Coast's most ambitious storytelling endeavor ever, during which they rethought the whole design process. However, all the while, they knew how it would end – with war!

The whole saga was always going to culminate in a massive war between all the living Planeswalkers with Bolas at the center. As Mark Rosewater put it in his elevator pitch, which he outlines in his Waging War of the Spark article: "Imagine every Planeswalker you know, all together on Ravnica—fighting!" And fight they shall. Mechanically, WotfC had to grapple with the problem of having dozens of Planeswalkers in one set and as a result, War of the Spark features the first Uncommon and Rare Planeswalkers, as well as passive Planeswalker abilities and a couple of new and returning mechanics. Now that the stage for war is set, let's discuss the actual battle!

It's All About Magic: The Gathering's Favorite Planeswalkers and War

It would be difficult to call War of the Spark diverse, but that's understandable given the task of bringing 37 (!!) Planeswalkers to life.

Proliferate makes a return with slightly different rules – It now upticks all types of counters on a permanent instead of letting you choose what counters to uptick. Planeswalkers, as already stated, now have passive abilities to go with their activated abilities. The number of abilities Planeswalkers have varies based on their rarity. Uncommon planeswalkers like Tibalt, Rakish Instigator have two slots, usually a passive and minus ability, meaning without additional counter manipulation, it has limited uses. Tibalt will definitely be at home in Burn archetypes, as a relatively low-cost way to keep your opponent from gaining life, while putting incidental damage on the battlefield. Rare Planeswalkers like Teferi, Time Raveler have three slots, usually a passive, a plus, and a minus ability. Teferi will slot nicely into control mirrors with his ability to force your opponent into playing at sorcery speed, while allowing the controller to turn his powerful sorcery-speed options into instant-speed options. It's a great nod to the original Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir. Finally, Mythic Planeswalkers like Liliana, Dreadhorde General, have four slots, usually a passive and three abilities (think normal Planeswalker plus a passive). Liliana is reminiscent of Elspeth, Sun's Champion, another six mana Planeswalker with a token-generating plus ability, a powerful minus ability, and a great ultimate.

So that covers Planeswalkers. Now let's talk about the other mechanics! Well, there's only one really worth talking about: Amass is a mechanic of war. You can tell because it makes an Army – more specifically, a Zombie Army – creature token. More specifically, it makes an Army token, but only if you don't already control an army. Otherwise, it places a +1/+1 counter on the Army you already have. It seems counter-intuitive to have only one creature representing an army… and it is! Originally, it was supposed to be multiple tokens, but it made board states too complicated during its testing phase, so Wizards axed it for a single token… that gets bigger! Spells like Lazotep Plating give you an idea on where you'll find the mechanic, but we'll have to wait and see whether it will be good enough to stand on its own or if it will go the way of Bolster (a similar, counter-placing mechanic).

The Best of the Rest

Planeswalkers and Zombie Armies aren't the only thing you'll find in War of the Spark… we're on Ravnica for Pete's sake! Coming with them are great spells and creatures, from our good friend Fblthp, the Lost to powerful counterspells like Dovin's Veto. There is a lot to explore in War of the Spark, so take a look for yourself! Wizards no longer releases manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRP), but booster packs should cost you approximately 3,99 €. See you all on the battlefield!

Insight References

You Shall Have Other Gods (Part 2)

ConstructedBy Kumagoro (2019-05-21)

The Amonkhet Gods are back, and this time they all seem able to command their share of worship. The hottest new set in recent memory has bestowed all of them (with one exception) a new incarnation worthy of play in Standard. Let's continue our adoration by paying tribute to the esoteric Bontu and the thunderous Ilharg.

War of the Sleepers: Best Bargains to Buy in Standard

FinanceBy HansD (2019-05-14)

The new cards from War of the Spark have finally been released and a fluctuating meta has seen the prices of cards, well, fluctuate! While we've already seen the first wave of cards to make a name for themselves in the new metagame, this week's article highlights the bargain buys that could be making big waves in the near future!

War of the Spark: Ravnica - A Review

EntertainmentBy RyanS (2019-05-13)

Is War of the Spark the real end of Nicol Bolas? Did the Gatewatch manage to beat the Elder Dragon once and for all? There's only one way to find out. Ryan Scicluna reviews the War of the Spark: Ravnica novel by Greg Weisman and clues us in on whether the story is as great as it is hyped up to be.

War of the Spark Modern Review - My Top Picks

ConstructedBy Rone (2019-05-13)

Nicol Bolas has returned to end all our beloved Gatewatch heroes! It doesn't matter who wins this war though, since we Modern players still get a lot of new planeswalkers to try out. In this article, let me try to evaluate every War of the Spark card that might be Modern material.

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Cardmarket Decks

Standard

5-8
Grand Prix Kyoto 2019
23.03.2019
1st
Grand Prix Kyoto 2019
23.03.2019
3-4
Grand Prix Kyoto 2019
23.03.2019
3-4
Grand Prix Kyoto 2019
23.03.2019

Modern

2nd
MagicFest Calgary 2019
31.03.2019
3-4
MagicFest Calgary 2019
31.03.2019
5-8
MagicFest Calgary 2019
31.03.2019
5-8
MagicFest Calgary 2019
31.03.2019

Legacy

2nd
MKMSeries Prague 2017 - Legacy
31.07.2017
3rd
MKMSeries Prague 2017 - Legacy
31.07.2017
4th
MKMSeries Prague 2017 - Legacy
31.07.2017
6th
MKMSeries Prague 2017 - Legacy
31.07.2017

Vintage

7th
Lliga Catalana de Vintage - March Edition
30.03.2019
8th
Lliga Catalana de Vintage - March Edition
30.03.2019
5th
Lliga Catalana de Vintage - March Edition
30.03.2019
3-4
Romancing The Stones 10 @ Austin, TX
30.03.2019

Commander

5-8
ZAP Avril @ Palaiseau
21.04.2019
3-4
ZAP Avril @ Palaiseau
21.04.2019
1st
ZAP Avril @ Palaiseau
21.04.2019
5-8
ZAP Avril @ Palaiseau
21.04.2019

Pauper

2nd
Dimagames Special Event Pauper @ Dimagames, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
13.04.2019
5-8
Dimagames Special Event Pauper @ Dimagames, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
13.04.2019
3-4
Dimagames Special Event Pauper @ Dimagames, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
13.04.2019
3-4
Dimagames Special Event Pauper @ Dimagames, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
13.04.2019

Highlander

1st
Highlander Masters Westfalen #1 Bielefeld
05.08.2018
2nd
Highlander Masters Westfalen #1 Bielefeld
05.08.2018
3rd
Highlander Masters Westfalen #1 Bielefeld
05.08.2018
4th
Highlander Masters Westfalen #1 Bielefeld
05.08.2018
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