Well, Aether Revolt is finally here, and I for one am pretty excited. Not only is the power level of the set higher than most of the recently visited planes but, as a Vorthos, the story has been a real treat to unfold. As the story of Kaladesh begins to wind-down, the multiverse leads us to a new destination – the mysterious Egyptian-themed plane of Amonkhet. But is this new plane as mysterious as we have been lead to believe or can we unravel the secrets of Amonkhet months before release? Let’s see if we can predict the future – here is my guess at what’s coming in the upcoming set.
The Dead Shall Rise
What’s the first thing you think of when we talk about Egyptian mythology? You’re damn right it’s mummies. The curse of the undead, relentless pursuing those who have disturbed their eternal slumber, is so well known these days it’s hard to imagine anything else when someone mentions Egyptian myth. So, it would be easy to assume that mummies will appear in Amonkhet in some way or another, but how exactly? Introducing a new creature type is the obvious first step, but the question is how they will interact with the game. It’s likely they will mess around with the graveyard in some way, though it’s very doubtful that Dredge will make a return. Mechanics such as Undying or Unearth, representing the unstoppable nature of the mummy, could make a return to standard. Another way wizards could explore the theme is to bring back Curses. Giving them an exiting the battlefield trigger, like the Accursed Witch/Infectious Curse from Shadows over Innistrad, could make for some interesting interactions, but we will have to wait and see.
We may not know much about the story of Amonkhet, but we do know a few key details. We know that the plane is ruled over by the dragon planeswalker Nicol Bolas, and that the people face the challenges of the five gods to have a chance to achieve greatness. Now I don’t know about you, but the identity of these ‘Gods’ have had me theorising. Are they true ‘Gods’, like the pantheon of Theros, powerful wizards and warrior from the plane itself, or something different altogether? I believe it is very unlikely that they will be entities like the Gods of Theros, as this will make the mythos of Theros less unique in comparison to the rest of the multiverse. Plus, it’s unlikely that a being such as Nicol Bolas, would ever share power with any creatures he could not bend to his will. While it is possible that the gods could just be powerful natives of Amonkhet, kings and priests whom bow to Bolas’ will, I think that would be a waste of potential. I think that the gods of Amonkhet will be characters we have met before – I believe they are other planeswalkers in service to Bolas. We have seen that Nicol Bolas has on many occasions used other planeswalker as agents in his plans, so it wouldn’t be impossible for him to gather these powerful mages to enact some grand scheme. This ‘Hatewatch’, as many have dubbed it, could be the ongoing antagonists to the ever-growing ranks of the Gatewatch, and may contain notable characters such Ashiok and Vraska. If Wizards of the Coast are trying to create an ongoing tale of good vs evil, this could be a good way to set the scene for the upcoming battles.
Now I know that some of you out there may have little interest in the story of Magic the Gathering, but don’t worry, I won’t judge. However, I bet you are interested in new and shiny cardboard goodness, aren’t you? Since the announcement that wizards will be printing Masterpieces in each upcoming set, many have wondered what new and fancy reprints we have to look forward to. Zendikar started us off with Lands, Kaladesh gave us artifacts, but what will Amonkhet bring? Some think that it will be hidden treasures, others, enchantments. I doubt they will be either of these. Treasures would more than likely mean artifacts, and Kaladesh just finished filling our binders with shiny trinkets. Enchantments would be far better suited for when we return to Theros. Myself and many others believe we will be treated to Masterpiece sorceries. Nicol Bolas prizes power above all else, power over mana and magic, so what better way to show the collection of Bolas’ knowledge than with reprints of some of Magic’s most powerful sorceries. Imagine a premium foil Ancestral Vision, or a Show and Tell with new artwork and a unique boarder. Eternal players are always eager for reprints of format staples, and this would be a great way to print some of Magic’s most iconic spells for a new generation of players.
Of course we will have to wait and see what Amonkhet has in store for us but whatever it brings, it promises to be one heck of a ride.