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April 5, 2019

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Daily Dose of War of the Spark – Three new Planeswalker friends

Welcome all to the Daily Dose of War of the Spark, where today will be a little different as I talk about Planeswalkers that we haven’t seen in a set before. So far, all the Planeswalkers that I’ve talked about have appeared in previous sets, but with 36 Planeswalkers running around, we are bound to find some new ones kicking around.

Each of today’s Planeswalkers are very intriguing. One of them doesn’t even have a Planeswalker type, just the fact that it’s a Legendary Planeswalker. With 36 Planeswalkers, finding a unique static ability that fits well with each Planeswalker must have been a tough design task. A giant puzzle so no two abilities overlap too much, if at all. Let’s have a look at these three new Planeswalkers that have found their way into War of the Spark.

First off is the Planeswalker with no name, known only as The Wanderer.

There is a lot of talk about what character this mysterious Planeswalker could be. Is it someone we’ve never seen before, is it perhaps Elspeth? Only time will tell, but let’s break down the abilities of this card.

Prevent all noncombat damage that would be dealt to you and other permanents you control. – This is a great static to battle against Mono Red decks but remember that they can still target The Wanderer with all that direct damage. I don’t think that in any matchup other than Mono Red, this will be very useful, so unless I see some cards that can deal some noncombat damage other than that, this might be one of the lower end static abilities we’ve seen on a Planeswalker.

[-2]: Exile target creature with power 4 or greater. – Unlike most uncommon Planeswalkers we have seen, this ability might not always be able to be used. It’s very situational, but when you can use it, it’s very powerful to have two uses of this ability to kill two creatures over multiple turns. It might be great against a deck like Sultai Midrange that could have some large creatures hit the battlefield like Hydroid Krasis and even a 4/3 Jadelight Ranger.

Next off is a Planeswalker that will be great coming out of the sideboard of a few decks. Here is Teyo, the Shieldmage.

When I first saw Teyo, the Shieldmage, I immediately thought of another tool for the Arcades, the Strategist deck. I think it’s even more than that though, let’s break down the abilities of this card.

You have hexproof. (You can’t be the target of spells or abilities your opponents control.) – This is a very strong ability to have on a planeswalker or any permanent for that matter. It shuts down most of the Mono Red deck, while also stopping Esper Control staple Thought Erasure from being cast. It also shuts down cards like Duress, Risk Factor and Unmoored Ego.

[-2]: Create a 0/3 white Wall creature token with defender. – This makes this planeswalker even better against Mono Red decks. It shuts down their direct damage to the face and forces them to deal with an 0/3 wall if they want their low to the ground creatures to get through for damage. Even if it dies, you can get a few activations out of it to get more value out of it.

Finally, is a Planeswalker that looks like a cross between Ashiok and Darth Vader. Here is Davriel, Rogue Shadowmage.

Davriel, Rogue Shadowmage is custom made to go into any Dimir Midrange or Dimir Fake News deck. How can it help with that? Let’s break down the abilities of this card to find out.

At the beginning of each opponent’s upkeep, if that player has one or fewer cards in hand, Davriel, Rogue Shadowmage deals 2 damage to them. – This ability is most comparable to what is done by the great card, Shrieking Affliction. Most of the times you won’t even have to use the other ability on this card for it to gain value. This can be the squeeze on your opponent needed to finish them off.

[-1]: Target player discards a card. – Being able to activate this ability for perhaps three straight turns will leave them empty, or at least one-handed for the rest of the game allowing you to deal them damage each turn. Like I mentioned, you can also choose to hold off on using this ability if they’ve already been left empty-handed thanks to your other spells.
There you have it, three new Planeswalkers ready to take Ravnica by storm. I wasn’t sure if they would be able to squeeze in any new characters when I heard about the idea for this set, but I’m glad that they were able to find space in the set for them. Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose of War of the Spark. Join me again next week, as I continue the journey through Ravnica brought to us by War of the Spark.