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 around 4561 AR. 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
- Many planeswalkers are lured to Ravnica by the interplanar beacon and are trapped by the activation of the Immortal Sun.
- The Zombie Dreadhorde from Amonkhet invades Ravnica through the Planar Bridge.
- 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 slays Niv-Mizzet.
- Nicol Bolas casts the Elderspell, and the Eternals start to harvest sparks which fly through the air towards Bolas.
- Kaya officially joins The Gatewatch.
- Chandra attacks Dovin Baan and blinds him.
- With the help of a Dimir operative, Rakdos and a pegasus, Gideon infiltrates Bolas's Citadel on his own
- Gideon attacks Bolas using the Blackblade, but his pegasus is shot down by Oketra.
- Liliana repents. Bolas uses the power of the demons' contract against her.
- Gideon sacrifices himself to save Liliana from the contract.
- Liliana commands Oketra and Bontu to attack Bolas.
- Niv-Mizzet is revived by Jace, Vraska and Ral Zarek, and absorbs the power of the Guildpact.
- Ugin uses Bolas's gem that connects him to the Meditation Realm to defeat him.
- Bolas is trapped in the Meditation Realm. Ugin seals himself away there as well.
- 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||Whose home plane was conquered and ruined by Nicol Bolas.|
|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||Declined to officially join the Gatewatch but helps when the multiverse is at stake.|
|Jaya Ballard||Dominaria||Human||Pyromancy (fire magic)||The Gatewatch||Declined to officially join the Gatewatch but helps when the multiverse is at stake.|
|The Wanderer||Unknown||Human||Energy absorption and channeling|
|Kiora||Zendikar||Merfolk||Summoning sea creatures||Former ally of the Gatewatch.|
|Sorin Markov||Innistrad||Vampire||Sangromancy (blood magic)||None||Used the conflict to avenge himself on Nahiri.|
|Teferi||Dominaria||Human||Chronomancy (time magic)||The Gatewatch|
|Angrath||Unknown||Minotaur||Chains and heat|
|Dovin Baan||Kaladesh||Vedalken||Artifice||Nicol Bolas||Recently installed guildmaster of the Azorius Senate.||Burned and blinded by Chandra and fled.|
|Ajani Goldmane||Alara (Naya)||Leonin||Auramancy (healing and strengthening)||The Gatewatch|
|Arlinn Kord||Innistrad||Werewolf||Control over wolf, lycanthropy|
|Ob Nixilis||Unknown||Demon||Demonology (demon magic)||None||Promised vengeance against the Gatewatch after their last meeting on Zendikar.|
|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||Former ally of the Gatewatch.|
|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|
|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|
|Vivien Reid||Skalla||Human||Animism (spirit magic)||Whose home plane was destroyed by Nicol Bolas.|
|Tezzeret||Alara (Esper)||Human||Artifice||Nicol Bolas||Principal henchman of Bolas.|
|Dack Fayden||Fiora||Human||Psychometry (absorbing knowledge by touch)||Spark harvested.|
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, Mu Yanling 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. There are also other plans for Mu Yanling. Koth is considered to be tied up on New Phyrexia.
References[edit | edit source]
- Mark Rosewater (April 15, 2019). "Is the process of spark harvesting lethal?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- James Wyatt (January 2019). "The Art of Magic: The Gathering - Ravnica'". Wizards of the Coast
- Doug Beyer (April 11, 2019). "Bad News for the Heroes". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- 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 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 02, 2019). "Does Yanling show up in the story at all?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (April 04, 2019). "Why hasn't Koth made an appearance?". Blogatog. Tumblr.