MTG head says future Magic sets to only feature one Planeswalker

Joel Loynds
Jace Planeswalker from MTG in black and white to represent going away

At MagicCon Barcelona, MTG head Mark Rosewater and Gavin Verhey, a designer, mentioned some upcoming changes that could change Magic forever.

Planeswalkers have been a key part of Magic’s history since the beginning. While they’ve gone through significant lore changes, March of the Machine and Phyrexia: All Will Be One introduced a brand-new caveat.

MTG’s heroes of the recent stories were converted into Phyrexian Planeswalkers, and the process of getting them back caused them to lose their ‘spark’. These desparked Planeswalkers will still travel the multiverse but have to go through new cracks in space-time.

At MagicCon Barcelona, the ramifications of this appear to be coming to fruition. While we were introduced to a series of desparked Planeswalkers in MTG’s March of the Machine: Aftermath, the upcoming sets will be setting the crucial change in stone.

MTG devs plan to reduce number of Planeswalkers

Mark Rosewater, lead developer of MTG, and Gavin Verhey, a senior designer, have confirmed that Planeswalkers will become much less common than previous sets. In previews for Wilds of Eldraine and The Lost Caverns of Ixalan, we only see Ashiok returning with his Planeswalker powers. Hualti, Rowan, and Will are all desparked and now legendary creatures.

This is a huge change for the core of the game, as Planeswalker cards have been part of each set since 2007. War of the Spark focused entirely on Planeswalkers, with each pack including a different Planeswalker, and the upcoming Planeswalker Party Commander Deck is built around it.

Eliminating the few Planeswalkers per set would fundamentally change the nature of the game, especially in limited formats like Sealed and Draft. Players in these formats can often shift the tide of battle with just one in their deck, and by decreasing the amount, potentially shifts the balance within the format meta.

On top of this, it adds general rarity to the cards, as they’re often printed at a mythic rarity. With only per set, this could see the secondhand market spiral out of control if upcoming cards are genuinely good within the meta.

Currently, in MTG’s Standard format, there are 34 Planeswalkers that are legal to play. This won’t reduce any time soon, as the rotation of cards in Standard has been extended to 2024.

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