War of the Spark (event)
The War of the Spark is the culmination of the fight between Nicol Bolas and the Gatewatch, that takes place of Ravnica. The event is depicted in the 2019 set with the same name, and fully described in the novel.
Description[edit | edit source]
Dozens of powerful planeswalkers, from many disparate realities, unite against the elder dragon, who has claimed dominion over Ravnica and is perilously close to completing the Elderspell that harvests sparks and will grant him "ultimate power" and godhood. Spark harvesting is lethal. As they fight alongside the Gatewatch — led by Chandra Nalaar, Jace Beleren, and Gideon Jura — against Bolas and his relentless army of Eternals, nothing less than the fate of the multiverse is at stake. Little do the Gatewatch suspect that Bolas has not only accounted for their interference, but he is practically relying on it.
The following events in the War can be distinguished
- At some point during Ravnica Allegiance, Bolas slays Niv-Mizzet.
- Many planeswalkers are lured to Ravnica by the interplanar beacon and are trapped by the activation of the Immortal Sun.
- Jace Beleren loses the power of the Living Guildpact.
- The Zombie Dreadhorde from Amonkhet invades Ravnica through the Planar Bridge that Tezzeret is operating.
- The non-corrupted Ravnican guild members ally themselves with each other and the planeswalkers.
- Gideon rallies the troops, and Nissa animates Vitu-Ghazi.
- The God-Eternals arrive to aid Bolas' side. Bolas topples the Vitu-Ghazi elemental.
- Nicol Bolas casts the Elderspell, and the Eternals start to harvest sparks which fly through the air towards Bolas. Domri Rade is the first to die.
- It is revealed that planeswalkers can travel through the Planar Bridge without danger. Dack Fayden, Ob Nixilis, Karn, and Samut travel to Amonkhet and shut it off.
- Chandra, Nissa, Saheeli, and Lavinia (plus Lazav) are tasked with shutting off the Immortal Sun.
- Lazav disguises himself as Chandra in the fight against Dovin Baan Lazav blinds him.
- Chnadra deactivates the Immortal Sun. Many planeswalkers leave the plane.
- Jace, Jaya, Vivien, and Teferi try to kill Liliana. She is saved by Bolas.
- Gideon attacks Bolas using the Blackblade, but his Unlikely Aid Rakdos is knocked out of the air by Bolas, and his pegasus is shot down by Oketra.
- Dack Fayden's spark is harvested and he dies.
- Liliana repents. Bolas uses the power of the demons' contract against her.
- Gideon sacrifices himself to save Liliana from the contract.
- Niv-Mizzet is revived by Jace, Vraska and Ral Zarek, and absorbs the power of the Guildpact.
- Liliana commands Oketra and Bontu to attack Bolas. Oketra is obliterated by Bolas.
- Unexpectedly, Niv-Mizzet impales Nicol Bolas through the back with Hazoret's spear.
- Bontu bites Bolas on the wrist and harvests all of the sparks that Bolas had consumed, including Bolas's own. Bolas is no longer a planeswalker. Bontu ruptures into shards.
- The Immortal Sun is reactivated by Saheeli to prevent Bolas from escaping.
- Bolas is brought to the Meditation Realm by Ugin.
- Ugin then takes away both of Bolas' names, so that he can't be summoned by another being ever again.
- Ugin tells his brother that he’ll become his jailer for eternity and expands himself all over the Meditation Realm. They are now both trapped.
- Kaya officially joins The Gatewatch. Nissa rejoins.
- Niv-Mizzet tasks Ral Zarek to search for Tezzeret and capture him. Vraska should search for Liliana and kill her and Kaya should search for Dovin Baan and finish him.
Planeswalkers known to be involved[edit | edit source]
|Art||Planeswalker||Origin||Race||Signature Magic||Alliance||Roles and Relations||Fate|
|Samut||Amonkhet||Human||Speed||The Gatewatch||Travels to Amonkhet to help shut off the Planar Bridge.||Survived|
|Nicol Bolas||Dominaria||Dragon||Mind control||Nicol Bolas||Seeks to regain his pre-Mending god-like power.||Lost his spark and trapped in Meditation Realm by Ugin after revival.|
Since Ugin permanently removed the realm from the multiverse, Bolas won't be back anymore.
|Ashiok||Unknown||Unknown||Bringing nightmares to life|
|Domri Rade||Ravnica||Human||Summoning and enhancing beasts||Nicol Bolas||Recently installed guildmaster of the Gruul Clans.
Intended to fight in the End-Raze.
Betrayed by Nicol Bolas and became the first planeswalker to have his spark harvested and have died.
|Teyo Verada||Gobakhan||Human||Protective magic|
|Ral Zarek||Ravnica||Human||Electricity||The Gatewatch
(formerly Nicol Bolas)
|Guildmaster of the Izzet League.
Creator of Project Lightning Bug.
|Survived and Niv-Mizzet tasks him to capture Tezzeret.|
|Tamiyo||Kamigawa||Moonfolk||Story magic||(formerly None)||Former ally of the Gatewatch.|
|Karn||Dominaria||Golem||Artifice||The Gatewatch||Travels to Amonkhet to help shut off the Planar Bridge.||Survived|
|Jaya Ballard||Dominaria||Human||Pyromancy (fire magic)||The Gatewatch||Helps in the attack against Liliana.||Survived|
|Tibalt||Innistrad||Half-Devil||Pain magic||Survived; went on to torment Chandra.|
|The Wanderer||Unknown||Human||Energy absorption and channeling|
|Kiora||Zendikar||Merfolk||Summoning sea creatures||The Gatewatch||Previously allied with the Gatewatch. Once again recruited by Ajani.|
|Sorin Markov||Innistrad||Vampire||Sangromancy (blood magic)||None||Used the conflict to avenge himself on Nahiri.|
|Teferi||Dominaria||Human||Chronomancy (time magic)||The Gatewatch||Helps in the attack against Liliana.||Survived|
|Angrath||Unknown||Minotaur||Chains and heat||Angered at being trapped again. Fiercely attacks the Dreadhorde.||Survived|
|Dovin Baan||Kaladesh||Vedalken||Artifice||Nicol Bolas||Recently installed guildmaster of the Azorius Senate.||Burned by Chandra, blinded by Lazav, and fled.|
|Ajani Goldmane||Alara (Naya)||Leonin||Auramancy (healing and strengthening)||The Gatewatch||Survived|
|Arlinn Kord||Innistrad||Werewolf||Control over wolf, lycanthropy|
|Ob Nixilis||Unknown||Demon||Demonology (demon magic)||None||In his own interest agrees to travel to Amonkhet to shut off the Planar Bridge.||Survived|
|Jiang Yanggu||Plane of Mountains and Seas||Human||Summoning and strengthening creatures of the forest|
|Huatli||Ixalan||Human||Dinosaurs, poetry, sun magic.|
|Sarkhan Vol||Tarkir||Human||Summoning and controlling dragons||Ugin||Former minion of Nicol Bolas. Seeks revenge for the ruining of his plane and his mind.|
|Saheeli Rai||Kaladesh||Human||Artifice||The Gatewatch||Helps shutting down the Immortal Sun.|
|Nahiri||Zendikar||Kor||Lithomancy (stone magic)||None||Used the conflict to battle Sorin instead.|
|Ugin||Dominaria||Dragon||Ghostfire (colorless magic) and transforming energy into matter||Ugin||Scheming to stop his brother's plans.||Trapped himself in the Meditation Realm as his brother's incarcerator.|
Since Ugin permanently removed the realm from the multiverse, Ugin won't be back anymore.
|Davriel Cane||Unknown||Human||Shadow magic, demonolatry, power-stealing.|
|Vraska||Ravnica||Gorgon||Stoneglare and assassination||The Gatewatch
(formerly Nicol Bolas)
|Guildmaster of the Golgari Swarm.
Sleeper agent of the Gatewatch against Nicol Bolas.
|Survived and Niv-Mizzet tasks her to kill Liliana.|
|Kaya||Unknown||Human||Ghost assassination and ethereal form||The Gatewatch
(formerly Nicol Bolas)
|Recently installed as guildmaster of the Orzhov Syndicate.
Betrayed by Nicol Bolas.
Joined the Gatewatch.
|Survived and Niv-Mizzet tasks her to finish Dovin Baan.|
|Jace Beleren||Vryn||Human||Telepathy (mind magic)||The Gatewatch||Attacks Liliana.||Survived. Lost the power of the Living Guildpact.|
|Gideon Jura||Theros||Human||Hieromancy (law magic)||The Gatewatch||Prophesied to use the Blackblade on Bolas.||Sacrificed himself to save Liliana from the contract.|
|Liliana Vess||Dominaria||Human||Necromancy (death magic)||The Gatewatch
(formerly Nicol Bolas, unwilling)
|Former member of the Gatewatch.
General of the Dreadhorde.
Betrayed Nicol Bolas at the risk of her life, but saved by Gideon's sacrifice.
|Survived and harvested Nicol Bolas's spark and fled.|
|Nissa Revane||Zendikar||Elf||Elementalism||The Gatewatch||Former member of the Gatewatch.|
|Chandra Nalaar||Kaladesh||Human||Pyromancy (fire magic)||The Gatewatch||Defeats Dovin Baan, threatened to kill Liliana.||Survived. Struggles with guilt and pain.|
|Vivien Reid||Skalla||Human||Animism (spirit magic)||The Gatewatch||Helps in the attack against Liliana.||Survived.|
|Tezzeret||Alara (Esper)||Human||Artifice||Nicol Bolas||Principal henchman of Bolas. Operates the Planar Bridge from Amonkhet.||Survived. Hunted by Ral Zarek.|
|Dack Fayden||Fiora||Human||Psychometry (absorbing knowledge by touch)||The Gatewatch||Travels to Amonkhet and destroys the Planar Bridge.||Spark harvested.|
|Mu Yanling||Plane of Mountains and Seas||Human||Hydromancy (water magic)||Seen fighting alongside Jiang Yanggu.|
Without a card[edit | edit source]
Other planeswalkers like Dack Fayden show up in the story, but aren't featured on a planeswalker card.
Other planeswalkers[edit | edit source]
Aside from the named planeswalkers above, there are multiple unknown planeswalkers that come to Ravnica that we'll never see or are never named (e.g. The Elderspell, Spark Reaper). This accounts for many of the harvested planeswalker sparks flying through the air.
On the other hand, there are some known living planeswalkers that don't show up on Ravnica: Garruk, Estrid, Aminatou, Will Kenrith, Rowan Kenrith, Daretti, and Koth. The absence of Garruk is explained to be because his hunter personality didn't fit story wise and because R&D had other plans for him. Koth is considered to be tied up on New Phyrexia.
Other main participants[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Mark Rosewater (April 15, 2019). "Is the process of spark harvesting lethal?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- War of the Spark: Ravnica (Magic: The Gathering) (Kindle Edition). Amazon.com.
- James Wyatt (January 2019). "The Art of Magic: The Gathering - Ravnica". Wizards of the Coast
- Mark Rosewater (April 20, 2019). "Was there a reason we new niv mizzet was...". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Doug Beyer (April 11, 2019). "Bad News for the Heroes". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Greg Weisman (April 2019). "War of the Spark: Ravnica". Del Rey
- Flavor text of Tamiyo's Epiphany
- Flavor text for Single Combat
- Flavor text for Ob Nixilis's Cruelty
- Oath of Kaya
- Mark Rosewater (April 09, 2019). "So many sparks flying around...". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (April 20, 2019). "It's just characters that didn't get cards?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (April 01, 2019). "Is there a reason in the storyline as to why Garruk doesn't show up to the plane with 36 planeswalkers?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (April 04, 2019). "Why hasn't Koth made an appearance?". Blogatog. Tumblr.