Magic: The Gathering‘s War of the Spark spoilers began this past Sunday, and with them came some surprising news: uncommon and rare Planeswalkers. This is huge news because, in the history of Magic: The Gathering, we have never had rare or uncommon Planeswalkers in any standard set. Here’s what we know about these Planeswalkers from War of the Spark.
Every Planeswalker revealed thus far has a static ability on them. What this means is, the ability printed above the card’s loyalty abilities is a permanent, always active effect as long as the card is out. For example, the new Liliana (seen below) has a static ability that reads: “Whenever a creature you control dies, draw a card.” This means that, as long as she’s out, any time any creature you control dies you will draw a card.
These kind of abilities are on every Planeswalker revealed so far, even the uncommon and rare ones!
Initially, I and many others assumed the lower-rarity Planeswalkers in War of the Spark would just be normal Planeswalkers with weak abilities. However, Wizards of the Coast found a way to limit the power of these walkers without making them feel too bad: limit the number of abilities on them. The uncommon Planeswalkers of War of the Spark only have negative loyalty abilities, but high loyalty so you can use them more than once.
For example, see the below uncommons, Kiora and Teyo.
Each of these cards has a very solid static ability, with one single loyalty ability. This inherently makes them less powerful than their mythic counterparts, but still solid nonetheless.
While the uncommon Planeswalkers from War of the Spark only have a single negative loyalty ability, the rare ones have a plus ability and a negative ability. This gives them more versatility and power than the uncommon walkers, while still being less powerful than mythics. Furthermore, you can see the power of the static and loyalty abilities is higher than the uncommon cards.
Seeing the most significant card type in Magic: The Gathering move to different rarities is amazing and opens up a world of design space that wasn’t there before. Whether we see more of these lower-rarity Planeswalkers in the future is unknown, but they for sure have made War of the Spark spoiler season particularly memorable. To think, we’re only three days in!
I’m Brent, working in association with Daily Esports to cover Magic the Gathering and gaming news.