Standard with Core Set 2020 is in full-swing before we get to Throne of Eldraine previews in a few weeks. The latest core set turned out to be filled with fun and powerful cards for different archetypes.
We’ve also had ample time to figure out which of the 37 Planeswalkers from War of the Spark are good in constructed formats. With so many ‘Walkers being released at once, it’s very cool that Wizards of the Coast managed to release a good mix of Constructed all-stars and role players.
In this article, I’ll look at the top 10 War of the Spark Planeswalkers that have made a splash in Standard, Modern, Legacy, and Vintage.
"Tibalt, Rakish Instigator" earns his place at the beginning of this list as an effective tool for Mono Red’s grindy sideboard game plan…
Who am I kidding? This devilish Planeswalker from Innistrad deserves a spot in the Top 10 simply because it’s amazing how much better this uncommon is than "Tibalt, the Fiend Blooded" from Avacyn Restored.
That set is infamous for being a terrible draft format, and it’s fitting that one of its headline Mythics is a complete dud. Of course, that meant that Tibalt carved out his own niche as a cult hero.
It’s fantastic that Wizards of the Coast’s R&D finally decided to do the character justice with a sweet card that totally fits the flavor of this sadistic half-man, half-devil.
In the battle of “Planeswalkers that become Creatures,” it was a tough decision between Magic’s fallen hero, "Gideon Blackblade", and this latest edition of Sarkhan. Both cards have seen a fair amount of play in Standard and showcase mechanics that bend the rules of the game in a cool and fun way.
In the end, I had to give it to "Sarkhan the Masterless" for two reasons. First, his printing spawned an entirely new archetype, Jeskai Superfriends, that uses him as a finisher after building out a board of Planeswalkers. More importantly, his plus ability is one of the coolest we’ve seen so far!
We’re used to seeing Gideon get into the red zone as an indestructible creature, but turning fellow ‘Walkers into giant flying Dragons? That ability is a flavor win and a strategy that appeals to different types of players, whether Spike, Johnny, or Timmy.
Nicol Bolas has had a long history of cool card designs that ooze Grixis flavor. In particular, I’m a fan of his “origin story” card from M19, "Nicol Bolas, the Ravager", that transforms from a flying disruptive beater into a terrifyingly effective win condition.
Well, War of the Spark made it so that Grixis enthusiasts can play 8 copies of the iconic Magic villain until the Ravager rotates out of Standard in October. And contrary to what some may think, 8-Bolas is less a meme deck and more a reasonable alternative to Esper in the current metagame.
When the Ravager does rotate, we’ll still be left with a version of the Dragon God that impacts the board immediately, getting rid of a pesky creature or puny Planeswalker before ticking up to draw cards and smother your development.
Wizards R&D was going for splashy and unique effects with Nicky B, and they certainly achieved that with his static ability and usually game-winning ultimate.