2, May, 23

MTG Aftermath Story Delivers Devastating Consequences!

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Article at a Glance

If you’ve been paying attention to MTG news over the past few days, you may be aware of a devastating leak that literally made Wizards of the Coasts arm the infamous Pinkertons into action. We won’t look at the particular cards that were spoiled, but, spoiler warning here, a lot of Planeswalkers return as Legendary creatures… without their sparks. This gave players a hint at what Wizards was referring to as the missing consequences were from the initial March of the Machine story. It looks like Planeswalkers are losing their sparks en masse, and the reason, while related to the Phyrexian Invasion, may not have much to do with Elesh Norn’s actions.

A quick note: this discusses the new March of the Machine: The Aftermath story released today. As a result, if you still want to read that, this article has massive spoilers (some of which are regarding the contents of the unofficially spoiled set lore-wise, but, again, you will not find any cards here). You can find the March of the Machine: The Aftermath first chapter here.

A Controversial Conclusion

After a series of complaints from players after the Phyrexian Invasion was resolved in a lackluster way, Wizards of the Coast specifically promised that the consequences of the Phyrexian arc were massive. Still, the end of the March of the Machine story failed to impress. Players were underwhelmed by the way the Phyrexian Invasion was resolved – an enormous battle years in the making just seemed to end without ceremony. Multiverse-sized changes aplenty have been promised, but we may only be seeing those changes at the beginning of the March of the Machine: the Aftermath story.

Magic: the Gathering has kicked off May in a massive way for lore enthusiasts, releasing the first part of the March of the Machine: the Aftermath story. Focused on bringing more detail to Nissa and Chandra’s relationship, March of the Machine: the Aftermath’s first chapter has begun to introduce just how catastrophic the consequences of our hero’s actions are.

Multiple Planeswalkers have stated that their sparks just seemed to disappear. Karn and Nissa lost their sparks at the end of the March of the Machine story, and Teferi and Koth’s sparks have… just stopped working?

“I like the casual, no big deal mention of Teferi and Koth also losing their sparks lol” – WeenieSmasher32

Of all the Planeswalkers on Zhalfir who were still kicking at the end of the story, only Chandra and Ajani, despite being Compleated, have seemed to maintain their sparks but don’t let that fool you. Planeswalkers appear to be losing their sparks everywhere (we only know this because the set was spoiled), and no one is entirely sure why that is. The reason that was pushed in the first story, however, may have surprisingly little to do with the Phyrexian Invasion.

The Sylex

Taking to Reddit, it seems that these spark-related consequences may be related to the Sylex’s explosion in the Blind Eternities. If you have not read the story for Phyrexia: All Will Be One and still want to do so, there are some spoilers involved, but, basically, Elspeth teleported The Filigree Sylex that Jace was going to ignite into the Blind Eternities to prevent all of the planes that Elesh Norn connected to with the Realmbreaker from being damaged (killing endless amounts of living things). Jace’s original reason for doing this was to prevent the Phyrexian Invasion from starting.

It seems that, from the context of this introduction into The Aftermath, there is a good chance (but not confirmed) that the massive desparking that many Planeswalkers are experiencing is a result of The Sylex.

“The sylex had gone off in the Blind Eternities. Holes had been punched in the space between planes.

This is fine, nothing to see here” – Cvnc

“And in doing so created a weird plothole. If the Sylex going off is what caused it … why did the sparks only disappear long after the Sylex exploded in Elspeths hands?” – UNOvven

The above question from Reddit user UNOvven brings up a good point. If the Sylex caused Planeswalkers’ sparks to disappear, why didn’t the Planeswalkers’ sparks disappear during the Phyrexian Invasion? The Sylex blew up during the events that transpired in Phyrexia: All Will Be One, so Planeswalkers should not have had access to their sparks during the final battle with Elesh Norn. Fortunately, Redditors had a good answer to this, and it came from Nicol Bolas’s rise to power:

“This has already been established in-universe in the Amonkhet storyline. Nicol Bolas has time to do some last minute things while the Mending is rippling throughout the Multiverse.

“He had days. Only days until he wouldn’t have the magic left to execute this plan. There was just enough time left to put into place the possible means to regain his godhood.”” – LettersWords

Attached to LettersWords’ comment was this link leading to part of the Amonkhet story where the quote that they shared was derived. This proves that Planeswalkers generally have a limited amount of time before they are completely desparked from an event, including the Sylex’s explosion in the Blind Eternities. Of course, the Sylex’s explosion being the reason why Planeswalkers are losing their sparks is, at the moment, speculation on the characters’ part but, in players’ opinion, this is most likely the reason why Planeswalkers are losing their sparks.

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Players are Optimistic

As mentioned by Redditor themiragechild, Wizards of the Coast “definitely didn’t waste time going into an explanation of what the big change to the multiverse was.” The consequences presented in the latest installment of Magic lore generally seem quite alarming. As a result, while many players are still apprehensive because of how much of a letdown the end of the Phyrexian invasion was, the consequences presented early on are severe enough to kindle some interest:

“I’m cautiously ok with what seems to be happening, for now, but legit annoyed we finally got Koth back just for him to be one of the ones to lose their sparks.” – DelkTheMemeDragon

“So right off the bat, the “things will never be the same” seismic change Maro had alluded to is 100% the sylex going off in the Eternities, not the invasion itself. I look forward to seeing how this continues to effect the multiverse, bc so far it seems pretty interesting and impactful!” – Moist_Crabs

One of the things that many players are annoyed about are how Planeswalkers, who were just introduced into the story, seem to be losing their sparks already. Koth hasn’t appeared in MTG for an entire decade, and the character already seems to have lost its spark. The same appears true for the two-year-old Tyvar (referring to when he was introduced), to the dismay of many of his fans. Players don’t seem as attached to older characters losing their spark, but having a character established, only to have a significant portion of their importance stripped away, can be disheartening:

“it’s really weird that a lot of planeswalkers who are relatively new or only ever had like 1 card already lose their sparks, unless they’re trying to revamp the planeswalker mechanic I don’t get these decisions” – matt16480

The Possibilities are Endless!

This new development brings about some other potential events as well. Maybe the Eldrazi are annoyed that The Sylex just blew up a big chunk of The Blind Eternities? If Ugin, the Spirit Dragon loses his spark, does that mean Nicol Bolas will escape the Meditation Realm? Either way, the early March of the Machine story appears to have players hooked. Let’s hope that whatever Magic has in store will go over better than the end of March of the Machine.

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