I had a bit of a hard time deciding what to write about War of the Spark. The novel was my first project as a continuity consultant for Wizards, so I knew what was coming in the story, but the card set itself just continually surprised me. It was hard to pin down which cards to choose for a Flavor Gems article... until I realized the ones I really wanted to talk about? They were all Legends! So let's dive in.
Niv-Mizzet, the Living Guildpact
All the cool dragons get to die and come back to life. Niv was jelly.
Niv-Mizzet Reborn by Raymond Swanland
Niv-Mizzet Reborn is the first ever fourth version of a Legendary Creature in Magic history. Niv 4.0 comes with some significant changes, so let's talk about Niv-Mizzet for a minute. I've written about him a great deal, but if you want the TL;DR version, check out MTG 101: Niv-Mizzet:
At over 15,000 years old, Niv-Mizzet is one of the oldest known beings in the universe. He has long desired power over Ravnica, from a scheme that involved creating a sigil out of the city itself to attempting to control the outcome of the Implicit Maze. He's massively powerful, but all that power wasn't enough for him to defeat Nicol Bolas. The elder dragon slew Niv-Mizzet as one of his first acts upon arriving on Ravnica. But Niv had a back-up plan, and left behind the Firemind Vessel to help ensure his resurrection. In Act III of War of the Spark, Niv-Mizzet Reborn is resurrected by the guilds as the new Living Guildpact to lead the fight against Nicol Bolas.
Pierakor az Vinrenn D'rav (aka Feather)
The last of the four-winged Boros angel!
Feather, the Redeemed by Wayne Reynolds
After fourteen years, Feather, the Redeemed has finally gotten the Magic card she deserves! Pierakor az Vinrenn D'rav (known to her friends as Feather) was the partner of Agrus Kos, Wojek Veteran in the original Ravnica block. A penitent angel, her wings were bound and she served as a Boros beat cop, known as a Wojek. But when Razia and the other angels (all copies of Razia) disappeared, Feather's wings were freed and she went in search of them.
But what she found was a slaughter. Aboard the original Parhelion, the ghostly Szadek, Lord of Secrets and his spirits slaughtered the angels, leaving only Feather to escape. When she returned, she became Guildmaster of the Boros by default and worked to stop Szadek's plot. You can learn more about it in another MTG 101 video:
Following the events of the original Ravnica, Feather appeared to be the last of the four-winged Boros angels. It's not clear how and when the two-winged angels came to join the Boros, but the newer angels also were based on Razia... and Aurelia the Warleader in particular was not happy about being led by a disgraced angel, and Feather was deposed. She was imprisoned, and later freed, but that's a tale for a different Legend.
Why are Feather's Four Wings Exciting? Because Feather is an original Firemane Angel. A copy of the Boros parun Razia, and the original angels all had four wings! Then all but Feather died in Dissension. #vorthos #mtgwar pic.twitter.com/QVvo1XtGJE— Jay Annelli (@jay13x) April 8, 2019
Feather has since been redeemed and placed in command of Parhelion II, and is shown in the cards of War of the Spark leading the two-winged Boros angels into battle.
Krenko, Legitimate Businessgoblin
Krenko is looking more Soprano than Corleone in this one.
Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin by Mark Behm
Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin is a legitimate businessgoblin who has been unfairly maligned by a system rigged against goblinkind. This generous and civic-minded individual was the only one to reach out to Feather and freed her from her illegal confinement in the slanderously titled story, Krenko, Mob Boss. Jenna Helland will be hearing from Krenko's Advokists.
While appearing as number five on The Azorius Ten Most Wanted, they've never had more than circumstantial evidence, as the Obzedat, Ghost Council would not report the specific nature of what Krenko may or may not have stolen... While an obvious frame job, these blatantly false allegations did attract the attention of notorious vigilante. Gideon Jura, whose unguildpactian citizen's arrest of Krenko in Limits resulted in Krenko being illegally detained by the Boros.
Krenko could be found as a helpful NPC for the players in Krenko's Way, a beginner's supplement for the Dungeons & Dragons book, Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica.
Tomik, Distinguished Advokist is the number two to Teysa Karlov, esteemed Matriarch of the Karlov family. Tomik kept Teysa informed and conducted business on behalf of Teysa during her confinement following her attempted coup of the Obzedat from Teysa Karlov and Family Values. When Kaya, Orzhov Usurper arrived and eliminated that particular problem, Tomik was left to choose between Teysa and Kaya as Orzhov politics began to heat up.
Adding to this complication is his relationship with Ral, Izzet Viceroy. Tomik and Ral both occupied high ranks within their respective guilds, and hid their relationship to avoid prying guild eyes. The artwork for both characters shows a sly token of each other's affection, as Ral is carrying white cloth from Tomik and Tomik red cloth from Ral, answering a months-old mystery on the significance of Ral's cloth.
Fblthp, the "Where the heck am I?"
Fblthp always regretted his life decisions.
Fblthp, the Lost by Jesper Ejsing
The Waldo of the Magic Multiverse has finally gotten his own card! The lost little homunculus seems to have grown a neck in this artwork, but fans have been clamoring for Fblthp since the cute guy first appeared in the original Totally Lost, and has since hidden in the artwork for cards like March of the Multitudes, Statute of Denial, Unquestioned Authority, and Captive Audience. You can read more about Fblthp in the appropriately titled story, Fblthp.
Krenko may have once been number five on The Azorius Ten Most Wanted, but Massacre Girl is number one. Massacre Girl is part of In Praise of the Worldsoul, Part 2 and Part 3. She was also a flavor text character in the Return to Ravnica block, Restore the Peace and Thrill-Kill Assassin. Massacre Girl is the opposite of a Dimir Assassin, her kills open and flashy, and she thrives on the chaos.
The Tragedy of Neheb
Neheb is the T-800 of Eternals.
Neheb, Dreadhorde Champion by Igor Kieryluk
Neheb, the Worthy is our window into the tragedy that has befallen the Eternals of Nicol Bolas's Dreadhorde. It's easy to think of them as the faceless killing machines they've become, Neheb reminds us that they were all people, once. The Amonkhet campaign in Magic Duels features you (as Neheb) completing all the trials and becoming more and more proud as time goes on... only for Neheb, the Eternal to be the final result. Thought to have been killed on Amonkhet, Neheb, Dreadhorde Champion has risen again for the invasion of Ravnica.
Mowu, the Interplanar Good Boy
Mowu hasn't missed leg day.
Mowu, Loyal Companion by Kimonas Theodossiou
WHO'S A GOOD BOY? Mowu, Loyal Companion IS, YES HE IS!
Ahem. Mowu is an interesting case in Magic, because he's the first Legendary Creature we've seen able to travel with a planeswalker. It's unclear what magics are in play that Jiang Yanggu can bring his dog with him across the multiverse, but we do have hints. Regardless, Mowu the shape changing dog is a character lots of people love, so I'm excited to learn more about him!
Storrev of the Erstwhile
Storrev, Devkarin Lich by Igor Kieryluk
Storrev, Devkarin Lich is the leader of the Erstwhile, the zombies uncovered by Mazirek, Kraul Death Priest during the story Pride of the Kraul. As the leader of the Erstwhile, Storrev has a great deal of influence on Golgari politics, although she prefers to stay out of it. Whoever earns her loyalty will have the might of a grand undead army on their side. You can read more about Storrev in War of the Spark: Ravnica, and also in Django Wexler's prequel stories.
Roalesk. Level 20 Simic Hybrid
Roalesk, Apex Hybrid by Svetlin Velinov
Roalesk, Apex Hybrid is what happens when you min-max your Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica character. Not a lot is known about Roalesk, but I guarantee he argues with the dungeon master over what those sweet pincers can do.
Tolsimir and Voja
Voja is an old wolf. But an old good boy is still a good boy.
Voja, Friend to Elves by Chris Seaman
Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves and Voja, Friend to Elves return after a seventy-six year absence between Ravnica: City of Guilds and War of the Spark. While neither have appeared in a story yet, we hear about the legendary Voja in the original Ravnica: City of Guilds novel because he is the father of Biracazir. In the novels, Biracazir temporarily becomes the new Selesnyan guildmaster after Savra, Queen of the Golgari and Szadek, Lord of Secrets slaughtered the Chorus of the Conclave. Voja is pretty spry for being old enough to be a dad of a grown wolf almost eighty years ago.
Ilharg, the Raze-Boar
Ilharg, the Raze-Boar is the harbinger of the apocalypse amongst the Utmungr, the pantheon of Gruul gods from their religion knowns as the Old Ways. The Raze-Boar was first hinted at in Gatecrash, with an off-hand flavor text mention in Rubblebelt Raiders. With a red god hole to fill, the World Building team did an awesome job foreshadowing him in both Guilds of Ravnica and Ravnica Allegiance.
Whoops! I was genuinely surprised when I learned about the dead gods of Amonkhet returning as the God-Eternals, but God-Eternal Kefnet, God-Eternal Bontu, God-Eternal Oketra, and God-Eternal Rhonas don't disappoint. When Tezzeret demanded the Planar Bridge be large enough for Gearhulks to pass through, even I didn't expect that it meant moving eternalized gods through the bridge. Like Neheb, these once noble gods had been manipulated by Bolas into perpetuating his cruel machinations on Amonkhet, and the realization of his influence came far too late. But can these god-eternals be stopped by the people of Amonkhet?
The Part Where I Plug the Novel
So, the story of War of the Spark is awesome, and you can read more about many of these characters in War of the Spark: Ravnica, out today! You can also learn more in Django Wexler's upcoming prequel stories, available soon by signing up through this link. Note that not every Legendary Creature I talk about here appear, but there's a ton of cool stuff to discover.
Full Disclosure: I was hired as a contractor as a continuity consultant on the novel. I have no direct financial interest in the sales of the novel.