The death of Domri Rade | War of the Spark Planeswalker spoilers

As Magic: The Gathering’s War of the Spark came to its conclusion, Dragon-God Nicol Bolas turned on his own followers. One of the first to face this betrayal was Domri Rade, the Beastmaster Planeswalker from the Gruul Clan. According to the art on cards like Soul Diviner and Spark Harvest, it seems like Domri was one of the first Planeswalkers who had their spark harvested as part of Nicol Bolas’s grand plan.

Backstory

Domri, a Ravnican native, was orphaned on the streets at an early age, where he grew up admiring the rabid warriors of the Gruul Clans. As he became of age he looked to join the Gruul, but he was shrugged off; he was too scrawny to be dangerous.

Domri then befriended the beasts of the Rubblebelt. In time, he gained their trust, and their bond imbued him with a magic that could summon them to fight, as well as enhance their strength in combat.

  War of the Spark Story Recap | ACT II: Ravnica bonds against Bolas

Domri’s talent ultimately earned him the respect of the Gruul leader, Borborygmos, who awarded him honorary membership within the Gruul. Domri used his newly-found strengths to challenge Borborygmos for the title of Guildmaster. He went on to defeat him and began working with Nicol Bolas to bring chaos to the streets of Ravnica.

Destruction to the city of Ravnica is in the heart of every Gruul, and Domri saw service to Bolas as the perfect outlet.

War of the Spark

However, it quickly became clear that Bolas’s plan to attain Godhood required the harvesting of planeswalker sparks – a fatal process for the victims. This week, two new cards from the upcoming War of the Spark set were spoiled that specifically point to Domri being the first of Bolas’ victims.

War of the Spark Soul Diviner shows the death of Domri Rade War of the Spark Spark Harvest shows the death of Domri Rade

As confirmed by Mark Rosewater, head designer for Magic: The Gathering, when an eternal harvests a Planeswalker’s spark, the act is lethal. With this mind, the flavor text and art on each of the above cards clearly depict Domri’s last moments.

Soul Diviner and Spark Harvest Card Breakdowns

Soul Diviner and Spark harvest are both very strong cards, but I believe they will appear in very different decks. Let’s Start with Soul Diviner.

{T} Remove a counter from an artifact, creature, land, or planeswalker you control: Draw a card.

Proliferate is a core mechanic in this set, and the ability to use some of those extra counters as a resource to draw extra cards each turn is incredibly strong. While going down a counter on a planeswalker or creature may seem like a downside, I think it will be well balanced in a Dimir deck built around the new Amass mechanic. It can also allow the newly spoiled Blasting Zone card to destroy tokens, which is significant, as there are currently at least two dominant token strategies in Standard alone.

Spark Harvest, on the other hand, feels right at home in an Aristocrats-styled deck – a strategy that works off of sacrificing your own creatures for value. Efficient removal is key in Magic, as the average game is won by the player who spent less mana dealing with their opponent’s threats, and was able to advance their own game the furthest. Spark Harvest accomplishes both in a deck with payoffs like Mayhem Devil and Cruel Celebrant.

Verdict

I believe both of these cards will see extensive standard and limited play during their time in the format. Both are efficiently costed with strong effects and have a place in highly synergistic strategies, all hallmarks of a format staple.

Read up on the events leading up to Domri’s death in our complete Act 2 lore recap.

Noah Rolf
Noah is a freelance writer, currently working for Esports Daily as a Magic: The Gathering and Halo content contributor.

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