Wizards of the Coast
Magic: The Gathering head designer Mark Rosewater has recently answered some questions about War of the Spark from the fans on Twitter, and he revealed some interesting information about why Garruk was missing from the new set as well as when the previews for Modern Horizons will begin.
On the Wizards of the Coast website, Rosewater explained the two reasons why Garruk is missing in the War of the Spark story and set. There's a real-world based reason and one in-story.
"Garruk is a popular character, and we have a story we want to tell with him," Rosewater said. "Magic has a lot of Planeswalkers, and we're trying to balance giving as many as we can some time in the spotlight. That does mean some characters have to wait for their turn. The storyline we want to tell with Garruk just didn't line up with the Bolas Arc. For a while, Garruk showed up in Dominaria, but the way we had to twist things to make that work just didn't let us tell the Garruk story we want to tell. As I've said before, we have plans for Garruk, and you all will see him again. War of the Spark just wasn't the right fit."
It sounds like they have huge plans to feature Garruk in a near-future Magic set. Rosewater went on to explain how Garruk would interfere with Bolas's plan in War of the Spark:
"In-story, Bolas's plan was to lure as many Planeswalkers to Ravnica as possible so that his Dreadhorde army could harvest their Sparks (incidentally killing them, but that wasn't Bolas's primary concern). Garruk is a very efficient Planeswalker hunter. The last thing Bolas wanted was to gather all these Planeswalkers in one place and then have Garruk slaughter a bunch of them before he could harvest their Sparks. That means, as Bolas was doing all his plotting to make sure as many Planeswalkers came to Ravnica as possible, he also had to spend some energy specifically making sure Garruk didn't show up."
There's already a lot of Planeswalkers featured in War of the Spark and having so many characters in the story would diminish Garruk's role if he's a part of it. That's good to know that they're not done with the savage character though. Maybe they'll feature him in the fall MTG set (codename: "Archery") that Rosewater has been trying to get made for over a decade.
Rosewater went on to reveal that the official previews for this year's innovative straight-to Modern set, Modern Horizons, will begin next week.
"Next up is Modern Horizons, which is a different kind of set than War of the Spark but should generate a similar level of excitement," Rosewater said. "One of our new hire's first day was the Modern Horizons slide show, and with a giant smile on their face after seeing it, their response to me was, 'How in the world did you get that set made?'"
Rosewater also teased that the next Core Set will have unexpected elements: "Core Set 2020 takes what the players liked about Core Set 2019, ups the excitement level, and adds some things you all might not expect." Core Sets usually lack a central theme so I wonder how they're going to do it differently this year.
Modern Horizons will be released on June 14. Prerelease events will take place on June 8 and 9. The prerelease events will be Draft, not Sealed. Previews will begin at the end of May. The War of the Spark card set will be released on May 3, 2019. It's already available in digital version on Magic Arena.
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