War of the Spark
The elder dragon Nicol Bolas has claimed dominion over Ravnica. Planeswalkers from across the multiverse converge as Bolas draws close to completing the spell that will grant him godhood. The Gatewatch, a group of planeswalkers sworn to stand against evil, race to stop the elder dragon. Led by Gideon Jura, Chandra Nalaar, and Jace Beleron, the resisting forces confront Bolas and his army of Eternals. Without realising it, the Gatewatch are acting exactly as Bolas had hoped.
He had known they would stand against him - his plan relied on it. Unknowingly the planewalkers have walked into a trap and it is too late for them to escape. The fate of the multiverse hangs in the balance.
War of the Spark is the 81st expansion for Magic the Gathering (MtG), released on 3 May 2019. The core set is comprised of 264 cards: 101 commons, 80 uncommons, 53 rares, 15 mythic rares, and 15 basic lands.
Players can obtain 11 additional cards considered part of the set, this includes the buy a box promo. The remaining 10 cards are available in the two War of the Spark planeswalker decks.
A mythic edition booster box containing 24 boosters is also available. Each mythic edition product contains eight Masterpiece boosters. The masterpiece boosters contain a full art masterpiece planeswalker card; each box contain all eight masterpiece cards.
War of the Spark is the fourth expansion to be based in Ravnica - and is the final instalment in the 'Guild of Ravnica block'. (The collective name given to War of the Spark, Ravnica Allegiance, and Guilds of Ravnica sets. These sets share common themes and form part of a larger story, the Bolas arc.)
Unlike the preceding sets, War of the Spark was marketed as a special event. The event being the culmination of the Bolas story arc which was told over the Kaladesh, Amonkhet, and Ixalan blocks. The story also tied the Dominaria and 2019 Core sets, as well as the afore mentioned Ravnica sets.
The accompanying story revolves around the war between Nicol Bolas and the planeswalkers assembled against him.
The predominant theme in War of the Spark is planeswalkers and they feature prominently, 36 planeswalkers are included in the set. In addition, there is one signature spell card included for each planeswalker.
In MtG a cycle is a group of cards sharing a theme or mechanic, War of the Spark features eleven. I particularly like the God cycle: God-Eternal Oketra, God-Eternal Kefnet, God-Eternal Bonto, Ilharg, the Raze-Boar, and God-Eternal Rhonas. These cards are very powerful and fun to play with.
I also like the Finale sorceries. There are five, one for each color. Each Finale has an X casting cost, if X is ten or greater, the spell has a more powerful effect. The five Finales are: Finale of Glory, Finale of Revelation, Finale of Eternity, Finale of Promise, and Finale of Devastation.
Two cycles feature the Gatewatch. The original five characters appear as mythic or rare planewalkers. Each character also has a triumph spell. The triumphs are instants or sorceries that will have a bonus if the player controls the corresponding planeswalker.
Amass is a mechanic that combines with a new creature type, Army. A spell cast with Amass adds +1/+1 counters to an Army creature. If the player does not control an Army creature, a 0/0 Army creature token is put into the battlefield - The +1/+1 counters are then added to the creature token.
Returning Key word actions & abilities
When a player activates Proliferate, they choose any number of players/permanents with counters on them. They then add another counter of the same type to each selected target.
The Crew ability enables artifacts with the vehicles subtype to become artifact creatures. To trigger Crew, the player must tap creatures with a combined power equal to, or greater than, the crew number. War of the Spark introduces the first coloured vehicles.
Affinity for artifacts appears in War of the Spark, but only on one card; Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge has a static ability. When this card is in play, Creatures and Planeswalkers you cast have affinity for artifacts.
Thoughts on the set
I really enjoyed War of the Spark. I appreciated it both as a standalone set and as a culmination to the Guild of Ravnica block. The story was fun and it delivered a lot of cool cards. The abundance of planewalkers gave drafting the set a different feel; it really changed the way my group approached deck building. I preferred it to the preceding two Ravnica sets, which fell short of my expectations. With War of the Spark we have a solid set; it's fun to draft and offers up some really great options for deck building.
For MTG fans, picking up a War of the Spark booster box is well worth it.