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Magic Story: Elder Dragons to the Mending

Magic: the Gathering’s story has a long history behind it, full of twists and turns and references to even more ancient events we’ve never seen. Given the ongoing relevance of the elder dragon Nicol Bolas, the reappearance of Azor, the Lawbringer, and the upcoming set Dominaria . . .  it’s clear there is a need for a history lesson. I talked about the history of Dominaria somewhat in Preparing for Dominaria, but Dominaria’s history alone isn’t enough. Dominaria is inextricably tied to the stories of many other planes, so I think it’ll be far more useful to look at a timeline of the major events in the multiverse leading up to the Mending.

The Magic Calendar

Dominaria’s calendar goes by the Argivian Reckoning, or AR. 0 AR marks the birth year or Urza and his brother Mishra, and most of Magic’s history takes place after this event. For the sake of avoiding confusion, I’ll be placing events on other planes in their roughly equivalent date of AR. I’ll also include Zal Concordant (or Z.C.) for Ravnican dates, with 0 Z.C being the signing of the Guildpact. All dates before the signing of the Guildpact are in Al Concordant (or A.C.).

It would be confusing to include every possible event with a known or reasonably calculated date, so I’m curating this timeline a bit to try and keep story arcs together and avoid confusing snarls of dates. I will be marking estimated dates with an asterisk (*). Anything without an asterisk is either an officially published date, what I call an anchor point, or the result of adding a very specific number of years to an anchor point. Any event dated before 0 AR is rounded to the nearest half-millenium for convenience. I have a fully cited timeline elsewhere if anyone wants to know why I made certain assumptions (although asking on my blog would be easiest), but posting all of those now would make this article unreadable.

Notable Exclusions

The Pre-Revision Era

The two main places for story before Wizards took over Magic’s story in house were the Harper Prism novels and the Armada comics line from Acclaim. I won’t be including any details from those early novels, and only a few details from the comics, as very few of those events have an impact on later events. If you want to know the full history of the comics books, the old Acclaim website has The Story of the Battlemage Ravidel. The broad story beats of the Brother’s War and the Ice Age are all there, with Battlemage and the Planeswalker War taking place between the Mirage War and the Phyrexian Invasion.

Legends I

The Legends I cycle (Johan, Jedit, Hazezon) follows the story of Jedit Ojanen as he defeats the wizard Johan. Unlike Legends II, it doesn’t actually connect to anything else and, as far as I can tell, it’s not referenced again. The only thing we can say about it is that it happened after the Ice Age, which doesn’t really pin it down. As such, I wanted to note that it existed but it’s not featured in this timeline.

Anthologies

Magic has a number of anthologies, and while there are some cool tidbits in the timeline, they tend to be minor details that don’t factor into the very broad story overviews I’m giving. As such, it’s not worth trying to separate them out, especially as very few have definitive timelines.

With all of those disclaimers out of the way, let’s dive in!

Timeline of the Multiverse

The Elder Dragons: -25,000 AR*

Nicol Bolas by D. Alexander Gregory

The earliest known event in the Magic multiverse was the reign of the elder dragons on Dominaria. We don’t know much about that time, other than it would come to an end in the epic conflict known as the Dragon War. The details of the conflict have never seen print, and it’s not even clear when this event took place. There were five survivors: Arcades Sabboth, Chromium Rhuell, Nicol Bolas, Palladia-Mors, and Vaevictis Asmadi. Only Bolas would survive into the modern day, becoming a planeswalker in the process. (Nicol Bolas Profile)

The Duel at the Talon Gates: -15,500 AR*

The first planeswalker duel on Dominaria took place on Madara between Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker and a demonic leviathan. Their epic duel unleashed devastating magical power, creating the first time rift on Dominaria. Bolas would emerge victorious, feasting on his foe’s corpse and slowly attuning himself to the newly created rift. The bones of his fallen foe would become known as The Talon Gates. (Future Sight)

The Guildpact: 0 Z.C. (-5,500 AR*)

On Ravnica, Azor, the Lawbringer and the leaders of nine other factions come together to sign the Guildpact. Azor created the magically binding Guildpact to end the constant war plaguing Ravnica. Each newly created guild was given a different set of responsibilities to carry out, adjudicated by Azor’s own guild. The existence of the tenth guild, the Dimir, was kept secret as a condition of the pact. (Ravnica: City of Guilds)

The Thran-Phyrexia War: -4,500 AR*

Ancestral Vision by John Avon

The time of the elder dragons has passed on Dominaria, and now the artificers of the Thran Empire reign. The healer Yawgmoth was called to treat the empire’s greatest artificer, Glacian, when he was stabbed with a powerstone shard by the outcast Gix. Yawgmoth usurps power under the guise of treating the mysterious Phthisis disease sweeping through the empire. When the Thran planeswalker Dyfed shows Yawgmoth a plane made of artifice, he names it Phyrexia and begins moving his followers there. Yawgmoth promises the Thran people a glorious destiny but instead delivers hellish mutations and grotesque experiments. As Yawgmoth’s doomsday weapons detonate over the capital, Glacian’s wife Rebbec sacrifices herself to lock the gateway to Phyrexia. (The Thran)

The Hedron Network: -1,500 AR*

After forty years, the planeswalkers Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, Nahiri, the Lithomancer, and Sorin Markov complete their trap for the Eldrazi Titans. When the Hedron Network is activated, the titans are lured to Zendikar and then sealed away. Ugin and Sorin leave Nahiri behind to guard the prison, vowing to return if the Eldrazi escape their bonds. (The Lithomancer)

The Brothers’ War: From 20 to 63 AR

Millennia after the Thran fell, Urza and his brother Mishra, Artificer Prodigy discovered the sealed portal to Phyrexia beneath the Caves of Koilos on the continent of Terisiare. The powerstone used to seal the gateway splits into the Mightstone and Weakstone. Each brother takes a stone, but Mishra grows jealous and bitter of his brother’s cold, superior demeanor. They have a confrontation that leaves their mentor dead and Mishra lost in the desert. There, Mishra is captured by a band of nomadic desert dwellers called the Fallaji, while his brother Urza departs for nearby Yotia and meets his future wife, the princess Kayla Bin-Kroog. Unknown to either brother, Gix, now a Phyrexian Demon, has come to lead the Phyrexian return to Dominaria, and begins to manipulate both sides of the conflict. The brothers’ old enmities are further inflamed as they rise to positions of power in their respective nations, and war soon becomes unavoidable. (The Brothers’ War)

Urza and Mishra by Mark Tedin and Anson Maddocks

The Battle of Argoth: 63 AR

In their decades of war, the Brothers strip mined the land of resources. The war then turned to Argoth, a verdant, resource rich island off the coast. As the Brothers clashed, Gix revealed himself and assumed control of their weapons, all of which were based on Thran technology. Urza realized his brother had been corrupted by Phyrexia, and turned to the Golgothian Sylex, which unleashed a blast that shattered the island, ushered in global ecological catastrophe, and created Dominaria’s second time rift. In the aftermath, Urza fused with the mightstone and weakstone, igniting his latent planeswalker spark. (The Brothers’ War)

Fallen Empires: 170 AR*

On the island continent of Sarpadia, the dwarven civilization was quickly overrun by goblins and orcs from the mountains, escaping the cold. The villainous planeswalker Tevesh Szat, bitter over the death of his sister, became determined to end all civilization on Sarpadia. The humans of Icatia fell to the encroaching mountain hordes, while the Order of the Ebon Hand engineered their own downfall as they’re overrun by their thrull servants. The elves of Havenwood breed thallids for food as resources grow scarce, but they too are overwhelmed by their creation. In the sea, Homarid hordes drive the Vodalian merfolk away. (Fallen Empires #1-2, The History of the Sarpadian Empires)

The Dark: 430 AR

Mairsil, the Pretender by Izzy

The catastrophe at the end of the Brothers’ War splintered the nations of Terisiare. Only feuding city-states remained, warring with each other for remaining resources while defending against goblin incursions from the mountains. In the chaos, the Church of Tal rose to prominence as the dominant political force by outlawing magic. The Brothers’ names become curses and the name Phyrexia becomes associated with hell. It’s in this climate that a young mage (and descendant of Urza) named Jodah becomes entangled with the Conclave of Mages. Mairsil, the Pretender has recently usurped control of the conclave from his master, Ith, High Arcanist and imprisoned the wizard in Barl's Cage. Jodah freed Ith while the Church of Tal laid siege to the Conclave, and in the confusion Ith incinerates Mairsil. Jodah escapes the Church and is taken in by the wizards of the island of Lat-Nam. Unknown to all, Mairsil’s spirit survived inside his ruby ring, and Jodah’s aging had been slowed in an encounter with the Fountain of Youth. (The Gathering Dark)

The Ice Age Begins: 450 AR

Kjeldoran Outpost by Noah Bradley

Centuries of cooling temperatures became a true Ice Age on Dominaria. Twelve planes, including Dominaria, become trapped in what becomes known as The Shard. Many planeswalkers find themselves unable to leave, including Tevesh Szat, Taysir, Kristina of the Wood, and Leshrac, the Night Walker. Later, their number includes Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury, whose spark ignites during the Ice Age. Urza Planeswalker and Phyrexia become unable to return to Dominaria thanks to the effects of this barrier. (The Ice Age #2, Planeswalker)

Urza’s Assault on Phyrexia: 1800 AR

Urza and a human-like Phyrexian newt named Xantcha attack Phyrexia with a massive dragon engine. Urza does not anticipate the depth of Phyrexia’s power, and he and Xantcha only barely escape. Xantcha steals back her Heartstone, a powerstone metaphysically linked to her. (Planeswalker)

Urza discovers Serra’s Realm: 2500 AR

After being chased by Phyrexia from plane to plane for centuries, Urza and Xantcha arrive on Serra’s Realm. Serra shelters them and allows them time to recover, but the taint of Phyrexia causes her to abandon the plane not long after they leave.

The World Spell: 2934 AR

Lim-Dûl's Vault by Wayne England

Back on Dominaria, Lim-Dûl the Necromancer lays siege to the kingdom of Kjeldor and their Balduvian Barbarian neighbors. The now ancient Jodah, Archmage of the School of the Unseen, and his young friend Jaya Ballard, Task Mage, stop Lim-Dûl’s plot to assassinate the Kjeldoran king. They broker an alliance between the Balduvian and the Kjeldorans to stand against Lim-Dûl’s armies. In a duel with the Necromancer, Jodah discovers that Lim-Dûl found Mairsil’s ring, and the spirit of his old foe was influencing the Necromancer. Lim-Dûl’s patron, Leshrac, is furious to find the necromancer’s armies destroyed, and takes them both to the rogue plane of Shandalar in an attempt to escape the Shard. Jaya recovers Mairsil’s ring and the wizard slowly begins worming his way into her mind.

Freyalise arrives in the aftermath and brings Jodah and Jaya to aid her in casting The World Spell, meant to counter the effects of the Sylex Blast. With Jodah’s help, the spell is kept from causing catastrophe. All at once, both the Shard and the Ice Age are ended. (Ice Age #2-4, The Eternal Ice)

Lim-Dûl’s War: 2946 AR

Twelve years after being abandoned on Shandalar by Leshrac, Lim-Dûl’s conquest of the plane is nearly complete. An apprentice steals a sealing spell to use against the necromancer, but the spell backfires and both of their spirits become trapped in the apprentice’s body. The spell creates a barrier around Shandalar, protecting it from future invaders. (Shandalar #1-2, Shandalar Microprose Video Game Manual)

Lim-Dûl wins control over the apprentice’s spirit, but his rise is quickly put down again by the mage guilds built against his return. Defeated again, they imprison his spirit in a mysterious artifact. The power unleashed by these wars draws Arzakon to the plane, who corrupts the guild leaders in an effort to destroy the artifact powering the barrier. Arzakon’s influence is rebuffed by a young mage who defeats the guild leaders. (Shandalar Microprose Video Game and Manual)

The Flood Age: 2954 AR

Jaya Ballard, Task Mage by Matt Cavotta

Twenty years after the end of the Ice Age, the thawing snows cause sea levels to rise across Dominaria. The alliance between Kjeldor and Balduvia strains as Kjeldor’s cities become riddled with famine and disease while Balduvia’s once barren tundras become lush valleys. Mairsil seizes full control of Jaya Ballard and enacts a scheme to destroy Jodah and his school. The Archmage saves her by igniting her spark, and she purges Mairsil’s influence before departing for the Multiverse. (The Shattered Alliance).

A few years later, Heidar, Rimewind Master attempts to lead his people in a bid to restore the Ice Age. He creates coldsteel hearts to power unearthed Phyrexian war machines, but his conquest is stopped when he is assassinated by his own ally. (Coldsnap Player’s Guide)

The Apocalypse Chime: 3200 AR*

On Ulgrotha, the planeswalker Ravi rings the Apocalypse Chime, ending a war but wiping out nearly all life on the plane. The only remaining mana comes through a planar gate beneath Ravi’s castle, where she becomes trapped and slowly goes insane. The effects of the chime ripple out through the multiverse and weaken the barriers between planes. (Homelands #1)

The Kami War: Between 3200 AR and 3306 AR*

On Kamigawa, the effects of the Chime allow Konda, Lord of Eiganjo to breach the spirit realm and steal O-Kagachi, Vengeful Kami’s divinity, kicking off twenty years of War. Konda’s daughter, Michiko Konda, Truth Seeker, enlists the aid of Toshiro Umezawa to find out the truth about her father. Together with The Taken One, they defeat O-Kagachi and her father. Michiko and Kyodai (the name the Taken One takes on) become the new guardians of the barrier between the mortal and spirit realms. Toshiro’s patron, the Myojin of Night's Reach, blinds Toshiro in punishment. She reveals she had been prolonging the war in order to explore the Multiverse, using the war to distract O-Kagachi from noticing. She pulls him through her shadow realm and plants him on the Dominarian continent of Madara, where she commands him to thrive. (Outlaw: Champions of Kamigawa, Heretic: Betrayers of Kamigawa, Guardian: Saviors of Kamigawa)

Planeswalker: 3254 AR*

On Dominaria, the Kjeldorans and Balduvians finally unite to form New Argive, in honor of the country that once occupied their lands. Jodah goes to chastise the person to blame for setting the Ice Age in motion: Urza Planeswalker, who has finally returned. (The Shattered Alliance, Epilogue)

Urza and Xantcha discover a plot to inflitrate Dominaria by Gix’s legion of Sleeper Agents. Urza and Gix are evenly matched, but Xantcha distracts the Phyrexians long enough to allow Urza to defeat him. Xantcha is killed before Urza can save her. (Planeswalker)

The Tolarian Academy: 3285 AR

Urza Planeswalker, together with Barrin, Master Wizard, found the Tolarian Academy on a remote island. They only admit children to the Academy, to prevent infiltration by sleeper agents, who can only appear as adults. (Time Streams)

Fate Reforged: 3286 AR*

Crux of Fate by Michael Komarck

On Tarkir, Bolas ambushes and nearly kills Ugin in a pre-emptive strike. The spirit dragon had plotted with Azor to seal and destroy Bolas, but Azor’s hubris alerted Bolas to the plan. Ugin is only saved by a time displaced Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker, who uses a hedron shard to cocoon and restore the fallen spirit dragon. The dragonstorms caused by Ugin’s presence soon spiral out of control, and the delicate balance between dragon and khan skews as the Khans are conquered. (The Story of Tarkir Block)

On Ixalan, Ugin’s defeat leaves Azor waiting for a signal to spring their trap that never comes. The sphinx had given up his spark to make The Immortal Sun, and has trapped himself as a result. When it becomes clear Ugin has failed, he leaves the Immortal Sun in the care of the monks of Torrezon. (Sabotage)

Time Streams: From 3307 to 3360 AR

Urza builds Karn, Silver Golem to act as a probe in his time travel experiments. He uses Xantcha’s [card]Heartstone[/card] to make the golem self-aware, and then promptly ignores his burgeoning humanity. Instead, the golem finds friendship in a student at the Academy, Jhoira of the Ghitu. He’s picked on by another student, a young mage named Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir. When Jhoira is killed during a Phyrexian assault on the island, Karn uses the time machine to save her. He succeeds, but the time machine is destroyed in the process, sending devastating time magic rippling across the island and creating another time rift. While Urza saves some faculty and students, many die in the resulting chaos. Jhoira and Teferi become stranded on the island, but while Jhoira learns to navigate the distortions, Teferi is trapped in a slow time bubble. Urza, Barrin, and Karn return years later to find Jhoira hasn’t aged, and that drinking water that comes from the slow time distortions slows the aging process.

Acting on a clue from Jhoira, Urza travels to Shiv where he discovers the Mana Rig, which provides the Thran metal he needs for his projects. When Urza goes to make a bargain with the sentient forest of Yavimaya, Multani, Maro-Sorcerer traps him in revenge for the destruction of Argoth until he can convince Multani of the threat posed by Phyrexia. Multani gifts Urza with the Weatherseed, the living wood that Urza would use to build his flagship Skyship Weatherlight. With the Weatherlight, Urza planeswalks them all to Serra’s Realm, where Phyrexians have infiltrated the realm, draining the artificial plane of magic and setting it on a path to collapse. The Weatherlight evacuates all the people and angels it can before Urza charges a massive powerstone in the Planar Collapse, the stone with which the Weatherlight’s engines will be powered. The survivors of Serra’s Realm are settled in Benalia. (Time Streams)

Skyship Weatherlight by Kev Walker

Bloodlines: From 3385 to 4179 AR

On Dominaria, Urza officially initiates the Bloodlines Project, a genetic engineering program designed to create super soldiers for the fight against Phyrexia. There are two distinct projects: the Metathran, designed to be perfect soldiers and grown in tubes, and a more subtle manipulation of human bloodlines to create leaders for the coming war. A young researcher named Gatha bridles under Barrin’s tutelage and steals the research and leaves. He goes to the only people who can protect him from both Tolaria and Phyrexia: the warlords of Keld. In exchange for their protection, he enhances some of them with his magic, creating the monstrous Gathans. He kills himself to protect his secrets from Phyrexians who’ve caught wind of the project. The Phyrexians track down Urza’s other bloodlines, until only the heir to the Capashen bloodline remains. The baby is taken by Karn and hidden on Jamuraa. (Bloodlines)

Feroz’s Ban: From 3560 to 3800 AR*

Centuries after Ravi destroyed most of Ulgrotha, a small pocket of life thrives. Serra stops her wandering and settles on the plane. She meets the planeswalker Feroz, a kindly scholar, who casts a spell to ban other planeswalkers from entering and interfering with the plane. The two marry, but working against them is the nefarious Baron Sengir. Years into their lives together, Feroz is killed during an experiment gone wrong. Serra leaves the plane behind, heartbroken, and is killed on Dominaria by another planeswalker who believes her wedding ring is a powerful artifact. Twenty years later, the ban weakens enough that planeswalkers can once more enter. (Homelands #1)

Sorin’s Betrayal: 3566 AR*

Nahiri awakes from a long hibernation to find the Eldrazi’s bonds loosened. She deals with the mysterious race of vampires attempting to unlock the titans’ prison before departing Zendikar to find her erstwhile allies. Seeking her former mentor Sorin first, she finds him busy preparing defenses for Innistrad. Sorin has been busy creating The Helvault and Avacyn, Angel of Hope, preventing him from being alerted to Zendikar’s peril. Furious, Nahiri duels with Sorin, but Avacyn turns the tide of battle and Sorin imprisons his old apprentice in The Helvault. (Stirring from Slumber, Stone and Blood)

The End of the God-Emperor: Between 3600 and 3706 AR*

Wit's End by Chris Rahn

The Empire of Madara is ruled by an iron fist by its God-Emperor, Nicol Bolas. Having settled on the site of his first great victory, Bolas appeared to his government through the Imperial Shrine. His Champion, Tetsuo Umezawa, becomes involved in a power struggle with Ramses Overdark, the Emperor’s Assassin. Tetsuo defeats Overdark, but earns the emperor’s ire in the process. To protect his family, Tetsuo leaves Wasitora, Nekoru Queen to protect his estate and goes to challenge the emperor. Tetsuo was no fool, he knew he was no match for the elder dragon. Instead he devised a plan, luring Bolas into the Meditation Realm. With the dragon’s mind distracted, the meteor hammer spell took effect, destroying the Imperial Shrine and severing Bolas’s mana bonds. With Bolas weakened and off-guard, Tetsuo strikes, felling the emperor and collapsing the Meditation Realm. (Assassin’s Blade, Emperor’s Fist, Champion’s Trial)

The emperor was not gone, however. Bolas’s connection to the rift at the Talon Gates kept his spirit anchored, but unable to act beyond limited telepathy. (Time Spiral)

The Mirage War: From 3996 to 4196 AR*

Centuries ago, Teferi returned to his homeland of Zhalfir on the Dominarian continent of Jamuraa. After his experience on Tolaria and with his newly discovered abilities as a Planeswalker, he begins experimenting with pulling objects out of the time stream. These experiments cause Teferi’s Island to phase out of existence. Three powerful mages, Mangara of Corondor, Kaervek the Merciless, and Jolrael, Empress of Beasts sense the powerful magics unleashed by Teferi. They settle nearby, and Managara negotiates a peace called Mangara’s Harmony between the surrounding nations. Kaervek convinces Jolrael that Mangara is plotting against them, and together they trap him in an amber prison. Kaervek unleashes a wave of conquest on the continent, and the Mirage War begins.

When Teferi returns his island to the timestream, Jolrael reveals what happened in his absence. Unable to leave lest the time experiment cause further damage, Teferi sends visions to leaders across the continent guiding them to free Managara. With the help of the crew of the Weatherlight, Mangara is freed and Kaervek takes his place in the Amber Prison. (The Story of Jamuraa, Visions: The Backstory)

The Weatherlight Saga: From 4204 to 4205 AR

Mercadian Masques Comic Panel by Kev Walker

After millennia of planning, Phyrexia’s assault on the bloodlines leaves Urza’s Legacy scattered. The Legacy was the planeswalkers’ trump card, a collection of artifacts that will somehow win the day against Phyrexia. Captain Sisay of the Weatherlight and her crew enlist the aid of Gerard Capashen, the heir to the Legacy, to recover them. Unaware of Urza’s part in all of this, they follow the trail to Rath, an artificial plane created by Phyrexia as the vanguard of a full scale invasion. On Rath, they learn the scale of the conflict is far greater than they were lead to believe. The Weatherlight’s planeshifting engines are damaged in an attack, and several members of the crew are picked off before they can repair and upgrade the engines. They escape pursuit from Predator, Flagship and flee through the Erratic Portal. The crew finds themselves in Mercadia, where they need the help of Ramos, Dragon Engine to return to Dominaria.

Meanwhile, Crovax has ascended to the position of evincar on Rath, slaughtering the competition. Ertai is captured and eventually corrupted, becoming something like Crovax’s right hand. On Dominaria, the Keldons have invaded Jamuraa, and Barrin‘s wife Rayne, Academy Chancellor is killed in the conflict. The conflict is put to an end when Teferi, Temporal Archmage arrives. (Rath and Storm, Mercadian Masques, Nemesis, Prophecy)

The Phyrexian Invasion: 4205 AR

Upon the Weatherlight’s return, the remaining crew find Phyrexian portals opening all over Dominaria. Hanna, Ship's Navigator is wounded by a plague weapon and Benalia City is the first casualty of the war. Urza calls upon the allies he’s made over the millennia and deploys his metathran armies, supported by a grieving Barrin. Urza turns to Teferi for aid, but after a brief battle to close the portals above Zhalfir, Teferi phases his home country out instead. Urza then turns to Shiv and the Mana Rig, but Jhoira has already agreed to Teferi’s plan, and a large chunk of Shiv is phased out as well. Their intention is to wait out the Invasion for a century or two, as they have grown weary of Urza’s duplicity. The act of removing such large landmasses from the time stream causes two new time rifts to form. Urza turns to alternate allies in the nine titans, a group of planeswalkers who agree to help fight against the invasion. Their numbers include notables from the Ice Age as well as newcomers like Lord Windgrace.

Teferi's Protection by Chase Stone

Soon Urborg falls to Phyrexia despite Barrin’s best efforts, and the battle turns to shutting down the main gate to Phyrexia in the Caves of Koilos. But when Barrin learns his daughter, Hanna, died and Urza simply neglected to tell him, he finally snaps. Leaving Urza behind, he returns to Tolaria and lays his daughter to rest next to his wife. As the Phyrexians overrun the Academy, he casts Obliterate on Tolaria, shattering the island and worsening the rift there. Urza’s coalition, the crew of the Weatherlight, and the nine titans manage to take Koilos and destroy the bridge, but victory celebrations are cut short as the Rathi Overlay begins, bringing millions of Phyrexian reinforcements.

Battles rage across the plane as the crew of the Weatherlight and their allies attempt to hold back the tide. New time rifts are created as the Rathi Stronghold is overlaid onto Urborg and the Skyshroud Forest on to the mountains of Keld. The situation becomes more and more dire, and Urza’s assault on Phyrexia goes poorly as both Urza and Gerrard are turned to Yawgmoth’s side. When Gerrard and Urza eventually come to their senses (although Urza is just a severed head), things go from bad to worse as Yawgmoth himself arrives on Dominaria. Only the Legacy Weapon can save Dominaria, but the Weatherlight’s gambit to channel White mana from the ancient Thran Null Moon proves not to be enough. As all hope seems lost, the true Legacy weapon is revealed. Urza has Gerrard remove his powerstone eyes, killing him, and plant them in Karn. A massive blast of energy results, striking a killing blow against the god-like Yawgmoth. Karn ascends as a planeswalker in the blast.(Invasion, Planeshift, Apocalypse)

The Mirari Crisis: 4305 AR

On the small Dominarian continent of Otaria, the Pardic Barbarian Kamahl, Pit Fighter travels to Cabal City where he becomes a fighter in the city’s legendary arena. The Cabal has acquired the Mirari, a powerful artifact that amplifies magic and corrupts people’s desires. Kamahl eventually comes to possess it, but while deep in the thrall of its magic he nearly kills his sister Jeska, Warrior Adept. The Mirari fuses with his sword (fashioned from Urza’s staff), and Kamahl flees to Krosa to become a druid. His sister is captured and revived by the Cabal as the dark avatar Phage the Untouchable. (Odyssey, Chainer’s Torment, Judgment)

Mirari by Donato Giancola

Karona’s War: 4306 AR

Kamahl, Fist of Krosa attempts to restore his sister, but finds himself out of his depth when Akroma, Angel of Vengeance fuses with Phage to become Karona, False God. All of the plane’s mana becomes absorbed into Karona, which leaves the rest of the plane dying. Kamahl slays Karona, splitting Akroma and Jeska apart. The trauma involved ignites Jeska’s planeswalker spark. Karn appears and reveals the Mirari was a probe he sent to follow-up on the state of Dominaria. He takes on Jeska as an apprentice and brings the Mirari offworld.

The damage cause by Karona’s birth and subsequent death creates the final rift, this one destabilizing the others and causing them all to begin consuming mana, draining the plane. (Onslaught, Legions, Scourge)

The Mirrodin Crisis: Between 4306 and 4406 AR*

Karn returns with the Mirari and Jeska in tow to his world of Argentum. He transforms the Mirari into a golem, but a drop of Glistening oil infects the golem, slowly driving it mad. It renames the plane Mirrodin and uses soul traps to populate the metal plane with life, searching for a spark. He finds one in Glissa Sunseeker, who is forced to flee across the plane from his minions. Glissa makes allies as she hunts down Memnarch, most notably Slobad, Goblin Tinkerer and even her once foe Geth, Lord of the Vault. Slobad is captured by Memnarch and forced to build Memnarch’s grandest creation: the Ascension Web, a plane-wide network designed to transfer a spark.

During Glissa and Memnarch’s final duel, they both tumble into the mana core and are killed, followed quickly by most of the plane. With nowhere else for Glissa’s spark to go, Slobad ascends. Karn appears to him, able to access the plane again with Memnarch’s death, and offers to train him as a planeswalker. Slobad declines, instead opting to give up the borrowed spark to restore everyone on Mirrodin to life. With the soul traps destroyed, the spirits of the first generation brought to Mirrodin disappear in an event known as the Vanishing. (The Moons of Mirrodin, The Darksteel Eye, The Fifth Dawn)

The Raven’s Eye: 4366*

Art by Chris Rahn

On Dominaria, the mysterious Raven Man appears to a young Liliana Vess, tricking her into giving her brother Josu an elixir that would damn his soul to the void. Liliana’s spark ignited in her horror at what she’d done. (Liliana’s Origin: The Fourth Pact)

Breaking the Guildpact: 9,999 Z.C. (4488 AR*)

On Ravnica, Agrus Kos, Wojek Veteran arrests Szadek, Lord of Secrets on the eve of the 10,000th anniversary of the Guildpact. This event inadvertently causes the Guildpact to fail through a loophole preventing official exposure of the Dimir Guild. (Ravnica: City of Guilds)

The New Guildpact: 10,012 Z.C. (4501 AR*)

Agrus Kos dies while stopping a mad Izzet Guildmage’s plot with the help of Teysa Karlov. He’s revived as a ghost sentry for the Azorius, but soon discovers a plot by Grand Arbiter Augustin IV to seize control of Ravnica in the absence of the Guildpact. Agrus stops the conspiracy, and Teysa, Orzhov Scion creates a new, non-magical Guildpact that brings peace . . .  for a time. (Guildpact, Dissension)

The Mending: 4506 AR*

On Dominaria, Teferi and Jhoira return to the plane to discover it nearly a barren wasteland. They encounter Radha, Heir to Keld and Venser, Shaper Savant, planeswalkers with sparks connected to the time rifts of their homelands. Venser is taken advantage of by Nicol Bolas, who uses his rift connected spark to return to life, then leaves to prepare a place for himself on Alara. Teferi restores Shiv at the cost of his spark. The Skyshroud rift is sealed by Freyalise, and the Urborg rift by Lord Windgrace. Jodah returns, distraught over his belief that Jaya Ballard has died, and leaves the group when Freyalise dies. Karn returns as well, and travels back in time briefly to seal the Tolarian Rift before Barrin could cast Obliterate. Latent Phyrexian corruption takes hold as he too sacrifices his spark, and in a last act he planeswalks away to Mirrodin.

Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir by Volkan Baga

Jeska arrives, looking for her missing mentor, but she’s corrupted by Leshrac, and uses Radha’s spark as a filter to seal the Zhalfir rift without returning it to Dominaria first, causes the loss of the entire nation. Teferi, Jhoira, and Venser save Multani from the Yavimaya rift, where Urza detonated the Sylex Blast, and Jeska seals that one too. Leshrac reappears and steals Jeska’s latent Phage powers using a mask gifted by the Myojin of Night's Reach. When Bolas returns, Leshrac duels him. After battling across most of the known multiverse, Bolas prevails and seals Leshrac in the true Mask of Night’s Reach, taken from the Myojin by force. Using Leshrac’s spark, he seals the Madaran rift. Jeska, free of Leshrac’s influence, enlists Radha and Venser’s help in sealing the final rift over Otaria. She sacrifices herself to do it, and in the aftermath the spark is forever changed. (Time Spiral, Planar Chaos, Future Sight)

The Great Aurora: 4526 AR*

On Lorwyn, Oona, Queen of the Fae loses control of the transition between the magical day/night cycle. She creates Maralen of the Mornsong as a failsafe against The Great Aurora, but Malaren has a mind of her own. It’s just before the aurora struck that Nissa Revane first planeswalks to Lorwyn, and while Oona appears to call to her, Nissa resisted and fled before she could be changed. On the darker, transformed world of Shadowmoor, Malaren and her allies thwart Oona’s plans and Malaren becomes Queen of the Fae. (Lorwyn, Morningtide, Shadowmoor, Eventide)

Alara to Amonkhet: 4562 to 4566 AR*

Most of Magic’s story over the last decade takes place over the course of roughly four years. I’m not going to include it here because I’ve already done a full summary in Magic Story: Alara to Amonkhet. You can read that if you want to learn more.

Dominaria: 4566 AR*

Dominaria Key Art by Tyler Jacobson

Now, roughly sixty years after the Mending, Dominaria’s story begins! Here’s what we know: The Gatewatch has agreed to meet on Dominaria to rendezvous, although Ajani was unaware of their attempt to defeat Bolas while on Amonkhet. Jace has indicated that is the first place he’s going after Ixalan, and it’s likely that’s where Liliana fled after she abandoned the battle with Bolas, too. With the tagline ‘Gather Legends’ and old school favorites like Karn, Jhoira, Teferi, and Jaya seemingly poised for a return, I’m excited to find out!


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