Lore in Magic: the Gathering is vast and expanse. Over the near 30 years of the games existence, worlds have been explored, heroes and villains have triumphed and fallen, and players have come to a deeper connection with the game. Usually, Wizards of the Coast releases story and lore content around set releases to help immerse players in the new world. But today, we have new story, and it’s centered around a fan favorite villain, and could signal her return to the game!
Garden of Flesh
The setting, Ney Phyrexia. A once beautiful plane of nature and metal turned dark and twisted by the Phyrexian invasion. Elesh Norn, the Mother of Machines, at the helm of what seems to be a ritual or gathering of Phyrexians. She injects a Mirran with Glistening Oil, and yet, they do not turn.
Elesh Norn ponders and wracks her brain as to what happened. Something was wrong. Was the Oil impure? Did she create something imperfect? Turns out, it was Ashiok. They had created this “nightmare” to test the Phyrexian mind, to see what they feared most. It appears that Elesh Norn feared most is something escaping the Orthodoxy.
One such figure that had was Elspeth. She escaped to Theros after the invasion, and Ashiok sees Elspeth’s fear of the Phyrexians. So they had the idea to see what their nightmares were like. Once the nightmare has faded, Elesh Norn knows that she needs to eliminate Elspeth from the multiverse to quell this new fear.
That’s the long and short of the story, but definitely give it a read!
Elesh Norn’s Return?
The story told is very intriguing. Thinking about the timing of this story, we know that the Praetors have made their way back to the world once more. Starting in Kaldheim, followed by Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty and Streets of New Capenna, we’ve seen new printings of the Praetors in their dealings post New Phyrexia.
We know that Elspeth is currently in New Capenna, but for all we know she could show up in a future set. Of what’s coming up for the rest of the year, Dominaria United is next set coming up, with The Brothers War afterwards at the end of the year. Since Elspeth came up in the last set, I don’t expect her to show up again in Dominaria United. We also know that The Brothers War is a set that takes place in the past, so unless there’s some freaky time travel stuff happening, I doubt they’ll show up there.
So why drop this story and detail the brewing of a conflict between Elesh Norn and Elspeth? My guess is that we’ll see these two show up in probably the first or second set of 2023. It could also mean that there’s a return to New Phyrexia in the works, but that could be a bit of a longer shot.
So what do you think all this means? Is it a hint of things to come, or just a story that wanted to be told? Let us know what you think!