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Trailer for War of the Spark. Image courtesy of Wizards of the Coast.

The War for the Multiverse is Here

*Spoilers ahead if you’re not caught up with the Nicol Bolas story arc*

War of the Spark Ajani’s Pridemate revealed at PAX East. Image courtesy of Wizards of the Coast.

It all comes down to this. Wizards of the Coast has been building up their own epic fight on the scale of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Only, Thanos is a giant ancient dragon. And this fight seems to be on the edge of concluding with the upcoming set War of the Spark.

PAX East 2019 has been epic for Magic the Gathering fans, between the tournament and War of the Spark spoilers. So far, we know that “Ajani’s Pridemate” will be reprinted for War of the Spark. In addition, we got to see the official trailer for War of the Spark today.

Previous set trailers have just been fancy Harry-Potter-esque moving card art, but with War of the Spark we see a fully animated short film showing what looks to be a major climax of the upcoming story. But to fully get a grasp of what is happening, we might need a lore refresher.

What Started the Epic War

If you read the Magic the Gathering stories on the Wizards website, you get a grasp of what the story is behind the card game.

This entire fight starts with Nicol Bolas the dragon being the runt of the litter and trying to prove himself to be a bigger hot shot that he appears. He enjoys being worshiped and ruling over other beings. He becomes one of the first planeswalkers, beings who can travel between multiple universes. Planeswalkers at this time were practically gods on the scale of their power.

Nicol Bolas. Image courtesy of Wizards of the Coast.

When The Mending occurs (aka Wizards tying to make the card game less broken), planeswalkers lose a huge chunk of their power. Where once traveling between planes was like flying through the air, now it feels like wadding through muck.

Nicol Bolas wasn’t too happy about losing his god-like power and has been slowly scheming his way towards restoring it. So far in his plan to ascend to godhood he has created an immortal army from Amonkhet and used technology from Kaladesh to be able to transport his army across the multiverse to conquer all worlds in his path.

Which leads us to this moment.

Analyzing the Trailer

A major pawn that Nicol Bolas has acquired is my personal favorite planeswalker, Liliana the Necromancer. She is vain, beautiful, and power hungry much like Nicol Bolas. She made contracts with four demons to more or less make her young and powerful forever. However, the contracts made her their slave. Not wanting to be controlled by anyone, she abuses and uses her “friends” to help her kill each of her demons so that she can be free of her contracts.

Little does she know, when killing all of the contract holders the control over her contract defaults to the broker, who is none other than Nicol Bolas. Now under the control of the planeswalking dragon, she has to obey him or risk her power (or life) being undone.

Rise of the Dark Realms card art. Image courtesy of Wizards of the Coast.

And what do we see in the trailer?

Liliana has seemed to slowly soften her cold heart over the last several sets. Where once she felt nothing for her friends, now she is fond of them. We finally see her having enough in the trailer. She saves her friend, Gideon, from Bolas’s army and tries to use them against the great dragon. But Bolas will not stand for betrayal, and seems to be undoing her magic, which looks very painful, and if not, fatal.

What Happens Next?

So when I see my favorite planeswalker on death’s door, I can’t help but freak out. I have a custom playmat with her on it. I have a T-shirt of her. Liliana, the Last Hope was my desktop wallpaper for the better part of a year. I want all of the posters of all of her arts. I particularly want the Rise of the Dark Realms art on an entire wall in my room because it is epic.

Jace is going to forgive her and swoop in to save his old boo last minute, right? RIGHT?! Somebody, save my Lily!

Watch the epic trailer below: