The Top 10 MTG War of the Spark Planeswalkers for Constructed Magic

Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Credit: Wizards of the Coast


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.

  1. Tibalt, Rakish Instigator

    "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.

  2. Sarkhan the Masterless

    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.

  3. Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God

    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.

  4. Liliana, Dreadhorde General

    The headline character from War of the Spark alongside "Gideon Blackblade" and "Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God", this 6-mana Liliana has not seen much play in Standard

    She’s a decent finisher in Black midrange decks, but the Dreadhorde General is likely more notable for her gorgeous Japanese alternate art printing. Illustrated by Final Fantasy artist Yoshitaka Amano, foil version of the card currently sells for 220,000 Yen on Hareruya’s online shop.

    Liliana, Dreadhorde General
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    It’s an incredible price for a card on the fringes of playability. But when rotation hits and Standard players are scrambling for cards that end the game quickly, we might see more of this sweet card and her gorgeous alternate art.

  5. Tamiyo, Collector of Tales

    I hate myself for ranking a card that helps make the Standard Simic Nexus deck better this high, but no one can deny how well "Tamiyo, Collector of Tales" slots into that deck’s game plan. 

    Both her abilities make it so that Nexus players never seem to run out of gas and always find a way to turn a losing position into a W. Her static ability, while not always relevant, just reinforces her importance to a deck that is usually vulnerable to discard spells.

    I do feel better knowing that the Collector of Tales is just as good in the Command the Dreadhorde decks that I enjoy playing. She fills up your graveyard and helps you set up for that big turn while also finding key interaction or a Hydroid Krasis to refill your hand. 

    This is just a bonus point in her favor, but activating her plus ability and deciding what card to name adds a fun tension to games of Standard that might otherwise feel repetitive.

  6. Ugin, the Ineffable

    We kick off our top 5 with "Ugin, the Ineffable", a 6-mana Planeswalker whose power lies in his versatility. 

    In Standard, Ugin sees play as a one or two-of in control and midrange sideboards as a way to answer problematic permanents or carry the late game with his plus ability. His static rarely matters as utility Artifacts like "Treasure Map" have fallen off the radar thanks to their vulnerability to "Teferi, Time Raveler".

    In Eternal formats, however, Ugin can power up heavy colorless strategies and archetypes like Eldrazi, Tron, Cloudpost, and Stax. He works especially well with "Karn, the Great Creator" (who we’ll get to in a minute) to generate even more mana for cards like "Walking Ballista", "Endbringer", and "Mycosynth Lattice". His plus ability is just an added bonus that can help close out the game after locking out the opponent.

  7. Nissa, Who Shakes the World

    Anyone who has been on the receiving end of a beating from "Nissa, Who Wins the Game" will attest to how powerful she can be if not dealt with right away.

    True to her earlier printings, she absolutely wrecks control decks and demands an immediate answer. But unlike her Mythic Rare predecessors, this 5-mana Planeswalker can simultaneously ramp your mana with her static and churn out a steady stream of 3-power attackers with vigilance and haste.

    She is the cornerstone of different Green strategies in Standard from Bant to Sultai, where she helps power out massive "Mass Manipulations" or "Finale of Glories".

  8. Teferi, Time Raveler

    When three-mana Teferi was spoiled in War of the Spark, you could almost hear the collective groan of control-haters across the globe: not another busted Teferi

    The groan was almost drowned out, however, by the cries of joy from control players like me who were glad to have Teferi legal in Standard for another year after the Hero of Dominaria rotates out in October.

    The Time Raveler was quick to make an impact on the format, slotting into a variety of decks and warping deckbuilding around his static ability. You’d be hard-pressed to find copies of Absorb or Chemister’s Insight on the Arena ladder right now. 

    Teferi, in tandem with another Planeswalker in the top 3, has morphed the draw-go control decks of yore into streamlined “tap-out” style decks that play as many threats as answers. 

    The play pattern of casting Teferi early, bouncing the opponent’s first permanent, and still having him in play also contributes to his dominance in Standard. Getting to cast Thought Erasure on your opponent’s draw step is just the cherry on top.

  9. Karn, the Great Creator

    New Phyrexia’s "Karn Liberated", or Pantless Karn, if you prefer, is one of the most powerful Planeswalkers of all time. While most people may rank it under "Jace, the Mind Sculptor" or "Liliana of the Veil" due to his restrictive mana cost, the Silver Golem often comes down on turn 3 in Tron decks and ends the game on the spot.

    This act, which was good enough to help Thoralf Severin win Mythic Championship IV, was always going to be tough to follow. Karn’s second Planeswalker card, "Scion of Urza" from Dominaria, looked great and has seen Standard play but it failed to make a splash in Eternal formats. 

    The printing of "Karn, the Great Creator" in War of the Spark means that Colorless aficionados in all formats now have another powerful tool in their arsenal. 

    His abilities are pretty unique among Planeswalkers and can be backbreaking for an opponent if used correctly. Hi static ability, a riff on Null Rod, is devastating against other artifact decks and makes up one half of the new Modern combo with Mycosynth Lattice. His minus ability lets players employ a versatile toolbox of threats and answers in their sideboard. And while his plus is the weakest of the three, it can still close out the game against an opponent who can’t tap his lands or attack with creatures!

  10. Narset, Parter of Veils

    In an article for, Magic Pro League player Seth Manfield identified "Narset, Parter of Veils" as one of the most oppressive cards in Modern. He noted that her built-in card advantage engine and restrictive static ability could make her a prime candidate for banning in the future.

    Such is the power of this 3-mana uncommon that she sees play in Legacy and Vintage. Many Eternal format aficionados have pleaded with Wizards of the Coast to restrict her in Vintage to one copy in the 75. 

    She totally shuts down one of the most important strategies in old formats-casting cheap cantrips like "Brainstorm", and she combos with cards like "Wheel of Fortune" to destroy opponents’ hands. 

    It’s also important to note that Planeswalkers are much more difficult to deal with in Legacy and Vintage than in Standard, where you’re less likely to have creatures on the battlefield to apply pressure. 

    Her "Dig Through Time" impression and the fact that activating her twice still leaves behind a relevant card draw hoser definitely make her the most powerful ‘Walker to come out of War of the Spark for Constructed formats.

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