Magic: The Gathering is still months away from a new set release, but Wizards of the Coast dropped a major story trailer earlier today for the upcoming War of the Spark expansion. The trailer, which clocks in at just under a minute, teases a major story event that could take place when the new set drops in late April of this year.
Magic: The Gathering has been experiencing another boom period in the game's growth, thanks largely to the popularity of Magic Arena. What began as Magic's belated attempt at answering Hearthstone's popularity quickly exceeded fan expectation, supplanting Magic: The Gathering Online as the most popular digital offering in the game's repertoire. That success has been buoyed by a vibrant standard format after a couple years of extremely volatile and unpopular gameplay, as fans flock back to the game now that it has seen its most accessible format smoothed out by a combination of a new design team and less overtly powerful cards.
Magic: The Gathering's new War of the Spark trailer continues to showcase why the game has bounced back so strongly. The video, hosted on the Magic official YouTube channel, showcases a tower that appears to be on the plane of Ravnica, the site of the last two sets. The tower is adorned with various stained glass representations of planeswalkers past and present, including the Gatewatch, Magic's answer to the Avengers. Of those, a planeswalker named Gideon's glass is shattered by a strong gust of wind, his entire chest disappearing in an instant as the camera progresses inside the tower. Afterwards, all the candles are blown out by that same wind save one, as the smoke coalesces into the iconic Bolas horns that are sported by Magic's most popular villain.
The implication of the video is that Gideon Jura will meet his end during the War of the Spark, whatever that battle might entail. Gideon's story arc in the game has been trending in that direction a little, as the would-be captain of the resistance to Nicol Bolas constantly feels himself on the brink of buckling under the weight of leadership. While Gideon has managed to persevere each time in the past, the stakes in War of the Spark will likely reach a height Magic hasn't seen for a very long time.
Even if Gideon does survive - and the trailer works very hard to ensure that we all think it's not going to happen - we will likely see a death before this arc fully wraps up. Nicol Bolas is one of the most popular villains in Magic history and achieved that status by remaining vicious and unfeeling. If everything goes according to his plan, that could spawn the end of the multiverse as fans know it. We'll have to wait until April 27, 2019 for the War of the Spark prerelease to know for sure, however.