• Brandon Glover

Magic: The Gathering Core Set 19 planeswalkers overview

Magic: The Gathering is a collectable card game owned by Wizards of the Coast. The game was released in 1993 and was the first collectable card game. In Magic: The Gathering, players work hard to bring their opponents' life to zero by summoning creatures and using spells.

On July 13, 2018, company Wizards of the Coast released a new set of Magic: The Gathering cards (MTG) called Core Set 19. This set has new planeswalkers, new versions of old planeswalkers, and a total of 280 cards. The set has five pre-built decks.

The most unique planeswalker of Core Set 19 is Nicol Bolas, The Arisen.

Nicol Bolas, The Arisen is special, though, because he starts off as a Legendary Creature called Nicol Bolas, The Ravager. Nicol Bolas also can only be obtained through booster packs, which are packs of 15 cards sold for around $4 and which are guaranteed to contain at least one rare card.

Nicol Bolas, The Ravager is a 4/4 flying creature (first number is damage, second is toughness/health), and whenever he “enters the battlefield, each opponent discards a card. His mana cost is the following: one colorless, one blue mana, one red mana, and one black mana. His ability has a mana cost of the following: four colorless, one blue, one black, and one red to exile Nicol Bolas, The Ravager, then return him to the battlefield transformed under his owner’s control.” Then he becomes planeswalker Nicol Bolas, The Arisen.

Nicol Bolas, The Arisen starts off with seven allegiance points (which is like kind of like health, but the player builds it up over time). His abilities are the following:

  • +2: Draw two cards.

  • -3: Nicol Bolas, The Arisen deals 10 damage to target creature or planeswalker.

  • -4: Put target creature or planeswalker from a graveyard under your control.

  • -12: Exile all but the bottom card of target player’s library (deck).

Nicol Bolas, The Arisen has no specific cards as he has no specific deck. Instead, he comes with a card to represent him in your deck and hand because Nicol Bolas is a double-faced card.

Sarkhan, Dragonsoul is the red legendary planeswalker for Core Set 19. He costs four colorless mana and two red mana. His deck is all about dealing damage and using dragons. Sarkhan has had only a few different versions so far.

Sarkhan, Dragonsoul starts off with five allegience points. His abilities are the following:

  • +2: Sarkhan, Dragonsoul deals one damage to each opponent and each creature your opponents control.

  • -3: Sarkhan, Dragonsoul deals four damage to target player or planeswalker.

  • -9: Search your library for any number of Dragon creature cards, put them onto the battlefield, the shuffle your library.

His specific creature is Sarkhan’s Whelp, and its ability is “Whenever you activate an ability of a Sarkhan planeswalker, Sarkhan’s Whelp does one damage to any target. Sarkhan’s Whelp is a 2/2 flying creature. His specific spell is Sarkhan’s Dragonfire. Like most planeswalker spells in this set, it doesn’t bring the planeswalker to your hand; instead, you draw five cards and reveal one of the planeswalker’s colors, then put any amount of those cards in your hand and the bottom of your library. Sarkhan’s Dragonfire, though, deals three damage to any target as well.

Liliana, The Necromancer is the black planeswalker for Core Set 19. Her mana cost is the following: three colorless mana and two black mana. Her deck is all about life-stealing and bringing back the dead. Liliana has had quite a few different versions. She starts with four allegiance points. Her abilities are the following:

  • +1: Target player loses two life.

  • -1: Return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.

  • -7: Destroy up to two target creatures. Put up to two creature cards from graveyards onto the battlefield under your control.

Liliana’s specific creature is Arisen Gorgon. Arisen Gorgon is a 3/3 creature, and when you control a Liliana planeswalker, it has deathtouch. Liliana, The Necromancer has the normal Core Set 19 trend of similar, specific spells. Unlike like Sarkhan’s Dragonfire, Liliana’s Spoils makes a target opponent discard a card.

The white planeswalker of Core Set 19 is Ajani, Wise Counselor. His mana cost is three colorless mana and two white mana. Ajani’s deck is about powering up creatures and giving the player more defense and life. Ajani has had a few different versions. Ajani, Wise Counselor starts off with five allegiance points. His abilities are the following:

  • +2: You gain one life for each creature you control.

  • -3: Creatures you control get +2/+2 until end of turn.

  • −9: Put X +1/+1 counters on target creature, where X is your life total.

Ajani’s specific spell, once again, lets you draw five cards and reveal one of the deck’s colors, in this case white. The card, however, also lets you put two +1/+1 counters on a target creature. Ajani’s specific creature is Ajani’s Pridemate. Ajani’s Pridemate is a 2/2 creature with the following ability: “whenever you gain life, you may put a +1/+1 counter on Ajani’s Pridemate. Unlike some of the other decks in Core Set 19, Ajani’s Pridemate does not have an effect for when you control an Ajani planeswalker. Instead, the card Count Cleric does. Count Cleric is a 1/1 creature with the ability life-link (damage dealt by this creature also causes you to gain that much life). Count Cleric gets a +1/+1 counter when you control an Ajani planeswalker.

The blue planeswalker of Core Set 19 is Tezzeret, Cruel Machinist. His mana cost is four colorless mana and two blue mana. Tezzeret has had many different versions. His deck is all about using artifact cards. His abilities are the following:

  • +1: Draw a card.

  • 0: Until your next turn, target artifact you control becomes a 5/5 creature in addition to its other types.

  • −7: Put any number of cards from your hand onto the battlefield face down. They're 5/5 artifact creatures.

Tezzeret’s specific cards are slightly different because he doesn’t have a specific spell, (in-fact he only has three sorceries and instants in the deck); instead he has a specific artifact with the same effect as the spell. Just like the others, Tezzeret’s Gate Breaker has a slight difference: if the player pays five colorless mana, one blue mana, and then taps the card, the player can then sacrifice the card to make all creatures he/she controls unblockable until end of turn. Tezzeret’s specific creature is an artifact creature named Tezzet’s Strider. Tezzeret’s Strider is a 3/1 creature, and if the player controls a Tezzeret planeswalker, Tezzeret’s Strider has menace (This creature can only be blocked by two or more creatures).

The final Core Set 19 planeswalker is the green planeswalker Vivien of the Arkbow. Vivien’s deck is about gaining life and offensive measures. Vivien used to be a Legendary Creature. Vivien has had very few other versions. Her mana cost is four colorless and two green. Her abilities are the following:

  • +2: Put two +1/+1 counters on up to one target creature.

  • −3: Target creature you control deals damage equal to its power to target creature you don’t control.

  • −9: Creatures you control get +4/+4 and gain trample until end of turn.

Vivien does not have any specific spells, but she instead has two specific creatures, one of which has the effect of the specific spells most others have. The creature Skalla Wolf has the normal specific spell effect trigger when it enters the battlefield. Skalla Wolf is also a 3/3. Her other specific creature is Vivien’s Jaguar. Vivien’s Jaguar is a 3/2 creature with reach (This creature can block creatures with flying). When the player controls a Vivien planeswalker, the player can pay two colorless mana and one green mana and bring it from the graveyard to the hand.

Magic players can look forward to October 5, 2018, which is when Guilds of Ravnica, the next expansion set will come out. You can pre-order boosters and boxes on the Wizards of the Coast's official website.