Wondering about The Wanderer

The War of the Spark is nearly upon us, and it’s shaping up to be something rather special. Last week we got our first look at some of the new cards we’ll be getting our hands on, including a fair share of the thirty-seven planeswalkers that will be battling it out on the plane of Ravnica. New iterations of fan favourites, as well as all-new characters, will be pulled into the biggest battle since the end of the Urza saga, and everyone is all aboard the hype train. However, there is one question that has got the Vorthos’ of the community buzzing with excitement – a question regarding the identity of one of the new characters in the story. Just who is The Wanderer?

The Wanderer

The Wanderer is a mysterious new arrival to Ravnica and to the story as a whole, being unique in a number of ways. Based on the lore we have been provided, The Wanderer “is cursed to make an effort not to planeswalk. Unlike other planeswalkers who are tired by the process of planeswalking, The Wanderer can planeswalk and then planeswalk again almost immediately – but only because if she doesn’t focus she will be pulled at random from plane to plane.” She also doesn’t have a card type other than the requisite ‘Legendary’ and ‘Planeswalker’ types common to all planeswalkers. Her appearance and mysteriousness has driven the community into a fervor of theorising as to the identity of this individual, including yours truly.

Some believe her to be an existing character from the lore in disguise, such as Ugin. Others believe her to be a new character with no relevant identity, put into the story simply to mess with Vorthos’. Others, like Pleasant Kenobi, have more outlandish idea’s that have to be witnessed to be believed. However, there are a few theories that continually crop up. Today I’ll be looking at three such ideas and see if any of them could hold water. So, what are we waiting for, let’s get theorising.

Elspeth Reborn

This was one of the first theories to gain any traction, and it isn’t difficult to see why. The Wanderer is a purely white Mana-aligned female walker, as Elspeth has been in all her incarnations. The Wanderer’s passive ability protects you and all your opponents, which was pretty much Elspeth shtick. Additionally, The Wanderer’s minus ability takes out powerful creatures in a similar manner to Elspeth, Sun’s Champion. Overall, there are some compelling arguments to The Wanderer being Elspeth reborn. There is only one issue with this theory.

See the source image

Yeah. Elspeth was killed by the god Heliod at the end of Theros’ story arc and currently resides in the realm of the dead. Now since she was slain on this particular plane, there is the possibility for her to escape the underworld and return to the land of the living. But it would be a little weird that Wizards wouldn’t want to explore that arc in more detail since it could be a key plot point when we finally get back to Theros.

The other issue with this theory is that while The Wanderer has many things in common with Elspeth, the same could be side about many other white Mana-aligned walkers such as Gideon. All in all, while it would be great to see a fan favourite like Elspeth return (and I do believe she will very soon), I think this isn’t the time for it nor the way she will come back into the story. But hey, I have been wrong before.

Tetsuo Umezawa’s descendant

Another theory that has been making the rounds on the web is that The Wanderer is not an existing character but is, in fact, a descendant of an older character from Magic’s history, Tetsuo Umezawa. For those of you who are a bit behind on your Magic lore, Tetsuo Umezawa was a former servant to Nicol Bolas who renounced his loyalty to the dragon and defeated him. Ever since then, Bolas has had a vendetta against his descendants, hunting them down and forcing them into hiding.

This was seen most recently with Tetsuko Umezawa, Fugitive from Dominaria. Considering that The Wanderer has an almost oriental aesthetic and has the ability to take down large creature (like dragons), this has led some to jump to the conclusion that she is another descendant of the infamous Tetsuo. While I think there are some compelling arguments to be made, I believe this is also unlikely to be true.

Tetsuko Umezawa, Fugitive - Dominaria MtG Art

While the look and feel of The Wanderer could place her as a relative of Tetsuo Umezawa, there is one thing that goes against this – her mana alignment. Tetsuo famously had the same colour identity as his one-time master Nicol Bolas, that of Grixis (Blue, Black, and Red). Now while there is nothing to stop a descendant of a character having a different mana alignment to their ancestor, the fact that Tetsuko has a colour in common with Tetsuo makes it less likely (but not impossible) that we’d see such a drastic alignment deviation in another relative. 

A fragment of Emrakul

Finally, we come to the craziest and ‘out there’ theory I have been able to find. The theory that The Wanderer is Emrakul or at least a fragment of them. Ok, hear me out. It might seem like a ridiculous idea on paper. But if you give it some thought it starts to seem more possible than you first think. The first thing that we have to address is how a giant spaghetti monster from beyond the stars could pass for a humanoid woman. Well, the simple fact is that Emrakul already has done this previously in Magic’s history.

Emrakul wasn’t represented in the form of the angelic Emeria while she was imprisoned within the plane of Zendikar. She also took this form when she conversed with Jace during the finale of the Shadows over Innistrad block. It’s also worth noting that Emeria is associated with white mana, the same colour identity as The Wanderer. Additionally, if you look at The Wanderer’s art and design and compare it with the statue of Emeriadepicted on the card Shrine of the Forsaken Gods, you start to see some striking resemblances.

“But how is this possible!” I hear you ask? Isn’t Emrakul trapped within the moon of Innistrad? And how can she be a planeswalker? Well, it’s important to remember that Emrakul willingly allowed itself to be trapped within the moon, tired of the events happening around her and being used as a pawn in others’ games. As a result, we can’t say with any certainty that she is truly trapped. And even if she is, while the Eldrazi were imprisoned on Zendikar, they were able to influence people and events, as exemplified by the enthrallment of the vampires of Zendikar.

Maybe Emrakul has a small amount of her unfathomable conciseness moving about the multiverse, seeing what is happening and if its time for her to free herself. That would explain why The Wanderer is unable to stay in one place for too long and way she doesn’t function like other planeswalkers. It would also explain way she is able to wipe out any threat that she is faced with, as your average Amonkhet zombie would hardly be a problem for an almost indestructible elder being from the blind eternities.

Admittedly, this idea is still very farfetched. I seriously have my doubts that Wizards of the Coast would go for something so wild and out there. We would also need a good explanation as to why Emrakul is now helping our heroes, and why she would even be concerned with their plight. However, part of being a Vorthos is the joy of speculating on the wild and crazy. The Wanderer is probably not Emrakul, but it is fun to imagine a world where she is.

I guess we will just have to wait and see what the War of the Spark has in store for us. Maybe The Wanderer will turn out to be one of the figures we have discussed here today. Maybe they will be someone completely different. But if one character’s identity can create this much buzz around an upcoming set, then Wizards must be doing something right.

Who do you think The Wanderer is? We would love to hear what you think, so why not leave your guesses in the comments below. And while you’re there, make sure to like and subscribe to keep up to date with all we do here at Master of Magics. We also have a Patreon, so if you want to support future content for the site consider becoming one of our Patrons. Just $1 a month would do so much to help us create more of the content you enjoy. But until next time, remember – no matter the game you play or where you play it, Good Luck and Have Fun.

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