War of the Spark is an interesting set. But did you know that there are connections to other sets and Planes within this pile of cards? Here’s a non-complete look at the references to other Planes and sets of Magic found within War of the Spark.
Karn, the Great Creator – Dominaria (Weatherlight)
While the first static ability mimics the ability almost completely (except for the one-sidedness), Null Rod is part of the Legacy Collection, and so is Karn. What other parts of the Legacy Collection will we see next? I can’t wait for Juju Bubble to be on the next Karn card.
Ugin, the Ineffable – Zendikar (Worldwake) and Tarkir (Fate Reforged)
While the colorless spells don’t have to be Eldrazi with the new Ugin, it is close enough to the Worldwake card especially since it’s his eye. But his +1 ability is pretty much Manifest, but you still get the card if it creature dies. Makes sense since Ugin first had his card in Fate Reforged.
Grateful Apparition – Mirrodin (Scars of Mirrodin)
While I’m not going to touch on each Proliferate card since they’re using the mechanic in the set, but this is just a straight color shifted Thrummingbird with the Planeswalker damage rider as well.
Makeshift Battalion – Ravnica (Gatecrash)
And this is where the first of the named mechanics are part of a card name. Since mechanics like Battalion are ability words, they don’t have any extra rules text attached to the word. So things like this can happen even though they aren’t “true” Battalion cards (but they are).
Narset’s Reversal – Ravnica (Ravnica: Guilds of Ravnica)
A Fork effect is common enough that it’s not really a reference, but it’s the returning to the hand that’s a clear reference to the first time we visited Ravnica. You get a copy of the spell instead of drawing a card, which is pretty okay trade-off.
Teferi’s Time Twist – Kamigawa (Betrayers of Kamigawa)
Another almost straight reprint. Here’s your link to Kamigawa here for those that want a return to that plane.
Bolas’s Citadel – Dominaria (Onslaught)/ and Ravnica (Ravnica: City of Guilds)
Bolas is from(?) Dominaria so of course he would use the amazing enchantment that’s also a set name. He also believes in Greatness at any cost, so really this should read Bob’s Citadel.
Davriel, Rogue Shadowmage – Ravnica (Guilds of Ravnica)
I don’t know where Davriel is from but this enchantment is much closer to the Planeswalker’s static ability than The Rack, so it gets the nod here.
Deliver Unto Evil – Kamigawa (Champions of Kamigawa)
Two references to Kamigawa in one set? How the God-Pharaoh looks down upon you and smiles. Doubt he’ll make that same mistake again.
Ob Nixilis, the Hate-Twisted – Dominaria (Legends)
I don’t know if there’s any relation of Ob Nixilis to Dominaria. But I do know there was some outcry from the players when Underworld was reprinted in 8th Edition saying it was “Too good”. It was also the set that Serra Angel was a Rare, so that that as you will.
Bolt Bend – Tarkir (Khans of Tarkir)
The first of several that are “Ferocious” cards in this set. Ironically, there was no Blue “Ferocious” card even though this was the Temur mechanic.
Triumph cycle – Amonkhet (Hour of Devastation)
The Triumph Cycle and the Finale cycle will fit here (Chandra’s was the one alphabetically first). Both of the cycles obviously reference the cycles in Hour of Devastation with the Gatewatch’s previous fight with Bolas.
Devouring Hellion – Jund (Shards of Alara)
Devouring comes from Devour, the Jund mechanic from Alara. Bonus: Ajani is from Naya but visited Jund when he first Planeswalked. Neat!
Spellgorger Weird – Tarkir (Khans of Tarkir)
While not really Prowess, it’s a modified one as Prowess most likely won’t be coming back. Plus, it’s a weird card.
Turret Ogre – Tarkir (Khans of Tarkir)
Fun fact: Red now has six cards with Reach, the first two in Planar Chaos. Neat!
Arlinn, Voice of the Pack – Innistrad (Innistrad)
I mean, this one was kind of a given, right?
Awakening of Vitu-Ghazi – Zendikar (Battle for Zendikar)
Awakening is the connection here. It’s very flavorful and makes sense here. I wish Awaken was an okay mechanic and it got more love.
Evolution Sage – Zendikar (Zendikar)
Everyone says this is Landfall – Proliferate. And they’re right.
Finale of Devastation – Mirrodin (Mirrodin Besieged))
The only Finale that’s really almost a direct reference to another card in a high profile cycle. You can search your library or graveyard for any color with an additional mana, but you lose the ability to shuffle it in. You decide if it’s worth it.
Kronch Wrangler – Tarkir (Khans of Tarkir)
Could this mechanic find a way into more sets? Sure, but I would like to open it up beyond 4 power, but it seems like a good, known value.
Elite Guardmage – Kaladesh (Kaladesh)
Gain a life, lose a card draw, but lose a mana and gain a toughness. Was Cloudblazer too good? Clearly the most broken card in its set.
Huatli’s Raptor – Ixalan (Ixalan)
When I was little there was a VHS tape I would watch over and over called DinoRiders. It was the pilot episode and I’ve only seen that one, but I watched it like a 100 times. If you know where I can find the other episodes, wait a minute they’re on YouTube. I know what I’m doing tonight.
Living Twister – Rath (Exodus) and Ravnica (Guildpact)
I mean, clearly the returning to land ability references the lands from the original Ravnica block and not the Moonfolk from Kamigawa since they were all Blue and the fact that I’ve written Kamigawa more in this piece that actual articles in the last year means something’s wrong.
Solar Blaze – Mercadia (Mercadian Masques)
It’s it cute how wording changes in 20 years. Yes, Mercadian Masques is 20 years old. Pro Tip: If you’re going to make a card multi-colored, you can drop a mana in its cost (most of the time).
Teferi, Time Raveler – Dominaria (Time Spiral)
Tenth District Legionnaire – Theros (Theros)
If you change the color you can add a new ability, such as haste. Surprised that Hero wasn’t referenced anywhere on here. Complete fail of a set.
Ashiok, Dream Render – Ravnica (Ravnica: City of Guilds)
Is Ashiok a shadow? I would like to think so, but if I’m in a court of law, I’m not as sure as a
Huatli, the Sun’s Heart – Lorwyn (Lorwyn)
Sure, I could’ve chosen Assault Formation, but Lorywn was part of the most complicated limited format ever. And for that, I have to give it up to the OG Tree.
Guild Globe – Ravnica (Ravnica: City of Guilds)
That’s right Karn, harder to break than a snow globe. Those are impenetrable. (Ha, not Citizen Kane!)
Emergence Zone – Dominaria (Weatherlight)
There might be some talk of Alchemist’s Refuge here, but I decided to do with the OC Flash Land, since it clearly makes sense that Winding Canyons would allow creatures to be cast as an Instant.
I’m sure this isn’t the complete list, but it does give you a nice place to start. This is one of the few times outside of a Core Set that there has been this many references to older cards and places since Time Spiral block.
Until next time, which hopefully will be much sooner than before.