HTBG Presents: The Lore Corner

Magic lore, it is as vast as it is interesting and there is no end to the questions I receive about it. Today's topic pertains to one of the most asked questions I get. So without further ado, enjoy!

"Why are current planeswalkers so much more different than older planeswalkers?"

Wow, what a question, now how to tackle that. Well, gather around kids this is going to be a good one.

Different yes, but no less fabulous!

So let's begin at the beginning, when talking about planeswalkers: you can sort of split them into two groups; pre-mending and post-mending.There is a lot of ground to cover and nearly limited tangients to go on so I will be limiting myself to mostly important events and the basic differences. Now let's break down the meaning behind those names.

For the last time the names do not mean 'Bear Blaster' and 'Bear Blaster XTreme' now get out of my office!

First up is pre-mending. Planeswalkers used to be very very strong, no stronger than that. Stronger, no stronger. Think of the strongest thing you possibly can think of, they beat that to a pulp. Suffice it to say, crossing one of the old plainswalkers was not a good idea and very few beings could touch them. They were unsurpassed save for the most powerful mortal wizards and for the most part they acted like it.

Their lives were basically limitless and their beings existed not as physical bodies but matters of will as they were energy projections of a center of consciousness. They could manipulate magic on a vast scale and even with extraordinary effort could create their own plains! Some of them were worshipped as Gods and a good many of them became insane through their combined longevity and power, regarding humans as little more than playthings if they regarded them at all.

There are plenty of note worthy examples of the old pre-mending plainswalkers including; Urza, Feroz, Commodore Guff, Jeska, Slobad, Leshrac, and Nicol Bolas to name a few.

This guy totally ruins just, just everything.

See the old planeswalkers had a good run but eventually things got out of hand. On the plane of Dominaria (Nexus of the Multiverse by the way) A plainswalker named Jeska gave up her spark to heal all of the temporal rifts in the entirety of the multiverse in a massively influential act called the Mending!

Now this was made possible by her having been the manifestation of all of Dominarias Magic in a being called Karona the False God. Suffice it to say she was silly amounts of strong so it all worked out.

We could go on at length about the temporal rifts but to put it simply they were all locations of catastrophic events usually involving a planeswalker which resulted in a rip in space time. Then things from the past, future or alternate timelines would burst forth through the rift much to everyone's dismay.

Like this only pretend the candy is bees. 

So the time rifts are fixed and Jeskas spark is gone, the rules of the multiverse have literally been rewritten along with the way sparks work. A new group of planeswalkers crop up in lieu of the old ones starting with Vensers manifestation in Urborg, everything is right with the multiverse! Sort of. All the threats are there just the beings chiefly equipped to stop those threats (*cough cough* Phyrexians *cough*) are now way underpowered. Luckily the new Post-mending 'walkers are on the case!

Well first off the new group consists of planeswalkers you all should know and love already. Ajani, Gideon, Elspeth, Liliana, Garruk, Nicol Bolas, Tezzeret, Jace, Tibalt, Nissa, etc. They are planeswalkers but instead of the nigh omnipotent and uber powerful beings made of pure energy these are a little toned down. First off they exist in a physical body, one that needs rest and food and water and can die. Second their power is not limitless, they need to use the lands and artifacts for mana just like anyone else but usually on a much bigger scale.

Whelp mana's run out. Time to sell Billy to the Phyrexians.
Why did this happen you ask? Well to put it simply the Mending was the creative team's long-standing wish to make planeswalkers more identifiable. Toning them down provided a solution that also cleared the way for the new planeswalker card type we all know and love today. This in turn allowed planeswalkers to be not only the focus of the story line but also the brand identity. Before Jace strode around looking all pretty the posterboy of Magic was the ruggedly handsome Captain of the Weatherlight, Gerrard Capashen!

He's so dreamy! Wait where was I? Oh right, planeswalkers. Got it.

The reaction was interesting in that of course everyone lost their minds. Some clapped Wizards on the back but the majority rioted in the streets. By that I mean there was a bit of griping about killing off old characters and not finding less powerful characters interesting which was quickly abandoned by all but the most die hard of disgruntled players.

They were even given some unflattering nicknames, the most family friendly of which being "neowalkers" or my personal favorite "Bradywalkers" named after Brady Dommermuth, creative director at the time of their inception.

Noone has made this joke yet right? Just imagine the planeswakers in there, trust me it's funny.

Well that about covers it, planeswalkers are a cool addition to the story and have been all over the multiverse in every aspect. Their design space has plenty of potential and you can believe that more and more and more cards will come out of our favorite inter-dimensional beings. Plus the flavor of the game is that you, yes you, are also a planeswalker! Summoning monsters and casting powerful spells to overpower your opponent and claim victory!

Your expression, probably.

Well that wraps it up for this time, as always thanks so much for reading. Let me know in the comments or on social media what you would like to hear talked about next and remember, any game subject is allowed. Card games, miniature games, board games, video games, you ask and I will pick the best suggestion to talk about!

So from our table to yours, happy gaming!
twitter: @herebethegame


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