- When Nicol Bolas fights Leshrac in Future Sight.
Let's expand. This is a fight between two of the most evil and ancient entities in the Multiverse. The prototypical Black planeswalker versus the Elder Dragon. Anyone who is touched by Nicol Bolas has their mind destroyed. At this point, Leshrac has obtained the power of Phage, the Untouchable, whose touch reduces mortals and planeswalkers to black goo. Leshrac also has Night's Mask, an artifact that traps the soul of the one who wears it. The two fight as Kaiju near the site of the time rift created by Bolas becoming the most powerful being in existence 25,000 years ago.
A lot of the fight is Bolas and Leshrac exchanging spells, but then Bolas slips up and Leshrac stabs a hand into Bolas. As Phage's corruption begins to eat away at Bolas, the Elder Dragon planeswalks away, and the Walker of the Night gives chase across the multiverse. Cue one of the most awesome, fanservice-filled chase scenes ever. The two walkers visit the City-Plane of Ravnica, the oceans of Mercadia, The mountains of the Sengir domain, and Leshrac attempts to enter Kamigawa, and is barred entrance by two female guardians.
The two walkers end up back on Dominaria, with Phage's corruption having consumed most of Bolas's body. As Leshrac closes in for the killing blow, suddenly Nicol Bolas's body seemingly regenerates, he plucks the Mask of Night from Leshrac, and places it on his head, trapping him in it. Bolas explains that he was never actually hit by Leshrac. He twisted himself out of the way at the last second, and cast an illusion that he was being corrupted as he fled from plane to plane. With Leshrac trapped in the mask, Bolas uses the Walker of the Night's spark to mend the rift at Leviathan's Gate, and return to his machinations.
- The end of the milennia-old original Magic arc, where Gerrard and Urza sacrifice themselves to finally kill Yawgmoth, considering that Urza spent millenia preparing his world for an invasion only to get seduced by Yawgmoth after coming so close to destroying his world and having it all be for nothing. Then having to fight Gerrard to the death several times to please Yawgmoth before realising he was wrong..
Volrath: I stepped out. I did not step down.
- For awesome quotes,
- Urza Planeswalking K'rikk to death. One could refer to that moment as "Urza getting rid of a nasty K'rikk in his neck."
- One simple line from Gideon Jura, concerning the near-unstoppable Eldrazi:
- Gideon and the Eldrazi are a really sweet conflict. Near Death Experience depicts him at the Battle of Fort Keff, where he tears apart the absolute sea of Eldrazi shown in the card single-handed, deliberately using his magic to have them all try to kill him. Mind you, Emrakul then shows up, and Gideon promptly rethinks his defiance, fleeing Zendikar for help as fast as his magic can carry him. The brood lineages are one thing, the Titans themselves quite another.
- Magic: The Gathering tournaments, especially the Pro Tour, are a source of many epic events.
- Among all the players to have ever played on the Pro Tour, two of them stand head and shoulders above all the rest: Jon Finkel, and Kai Budde.
- On December 7, 2014, Israeli pro Shahar Shenhar accomplished what no other player, not even Finkel or Budde, had pulled off: a successful title defense and becoming the first back-to-back World Champion, defeating Patrick Chapin 3-0 in the finals.
- Among Kai Budde's Crowning Moments Of Awesome was when he made Eric Taylor eat his hat by winning Pro Tour New Orleans in 2001.
- Another Kai Budde moment: his victory in the 2000 Pro Tour Chicago, in which he made a topdecked Armageddon even more awesome by dramatically announcing the card by its German name: Götterdämmerung!
- There is a card, called Chaos Orb, where you flip it into the air and it destroys whatever it lands on. According to popular rumor, a player ripped a copy of the card into pieces and spread it around the board during a tournament game, destroying pretty much everything. As a result of this tale, the joke set Unglued featured a card called Chaos Confetti, a version of Chaos Orb where you have to rip it up in order to play it.
- One version of the legend has the opponent getting a judge to disqualify him for this because his deck is one card short.
- That's not what happened. Believe me or not, my parents owned the store where that happened (either Frontier Games or Games Without Frontiers, I'll ask and update this), and after the card-teary-thing happened, the player on the receiving end tried to argue that since the card was no longer a 'card', in the sense of being a single object, and tried to make the play illegal. The judge ruled that since at least one part of the card followed the rule of flipping over at least once, the card itself counted, and thus all pieces of the card, by extension, counted, as they were part of the same object, and the play was legal. The offending player went on to win the game, and swapped out the Orb for an identical card before the next game. My parents were amused upon finding out that this had become an urban legend. It was pretty memorable that someone would try something like this, but munchkins being what they are, they figured that a few other people would try it and it would become an accepted (if increasingly rare tactic). -Yours truly, The Saint of All Tropers.
- 2006 Pro Tour-Honolulu. Craig Jones vs. Olivier Ruel, game 5 of a best-of-5 match. Jones has to draw something that deals 3 damage to Ruel while not dealing him any (no Char). He does. Hilarity Ensues.
- Topped in 2009 at Pro Tour: Kyoto, when Gabriel Nassif calls his shot.
- To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the game, Wizards have released ''Magic's Greatest Moments'' list, which includes both topdecks mentioned above... and much more.
- In Pro Tour Eldrich Moon, two events stand out:
- Louis Scott Vargis having Emrakul played against him three times in the same match... and winning
- The winner of the tournament winning his last 9 games in a row.
- Any time that a player pulls off a good combo deck, it can be this. With the Grab For Power pre-con deck, one can pull off the ultimate combo in the deck, deploying the Crown Of Empires, Scepter Of Empires, and Throne Of Empires. Within three turns, it's possible to have fifteen soldiers on the field, throw nine unblockable damage at your opponent, and take an enemy creature generator and the beast that boosted said generated creatures.
- Just about any victory against Faeries back in Lorwyn/Morningtide mini-block which didn't involve Faeries of its own.
- The new Dragon's Maze trailer. It's narrated by Ral Zarek, the Izzet Planeswalker. He describes how Niv-Mizzet is "inviting" the other guilds to join in the Izzet's grand experiment. A hidden ancient maze has been found, and each guild can send a single champion through it to claim the prize. The entire time the other guilds (and Zarek) will be trying to interfere with each other's champion. Whoever reaches the Maze's End will rule Ravnica, forever. The entire time this is explained, we pan across amazing artwork, showing the dangers ahead of the champions. Oh, and did I mention Zarek is voiced by Yuri Lowenthal? This is gonna rock.
- And again with the Theros trailer, this time narrated by Heliod, God of the Sun, who describes the gods, the heroes, then the monsters, finally leading up to him describing his plan to call for Elspeth's help. The introduction of Elspeth is accompanied by a brilliant crescendo in the already epic music.
- And, of course, the Born Of The Gods trailer, which features smooth and beautiful animation (aside perhaps from Xenagos' apotheosis) and one hell of an awesome voice acting for Xenagos.
- To top all of them, there's something of the classically-awesome in the Journey Into Nyx trailer, with Erebos almost lovingly musing on the path of a hero and plainly regarding Elspeth with the respect and compassion she deserved.
- And just to show that Wizards has fallen in love with one-upping themselves, we have the Dragons of Tarkir trailer, which ups the animation quality to an absurd degree and shows off the glory of the Dragon-filled new world of Tarkir, complete with Sarkhan narrating to a revived Ugin.
- And then there’s the Battle for Zendikar trailer. Specifically at the end with Gideon defiantly facing off against Ulamog. you can almost hear him telling the titan to "bring it on".
- "Your attack has been rendered harmless. It is, however, quite pretty."
- In the digital novel "Godsend", Elspeth fights Polukranos, a monstrously big Hydra that is called The World Eater for a good reason. Elspeth, being a badass and armed with the Godsend, quickly runs into the Hydra problem; every chopped off head results in two more. So what does she do? Chop the heads off halfway, so they still die, but can't be replaced.
- Elspeth goes through hell and back, sees herself denounced despite saving Akros, receives the ire of Heliod, and still journeys to the edge of the world. In the end, she ends up killing Xenagos with the Godsend..
- After that, Heliod decides that the existence of Planeswalkers, and thus worlds beyond his control, is an affront, and moves to kill Elspeth. He does so, but in death, Elspeth trades her life with Erebos for that of her friend Daxos in one final act of defiance.
- Elspeth goes through hell and back, sees herself denounced despite saving Akros, receives the ire of Heliod, and still journeys to the edge of the world. In the end, she ends up killing Xenagos with the Godsend..
- After Elspeth's death, Ajani is left in Oreskos, unsure of himself and what to do. After he is challenged by Brimaz, he travels to Meletis, walks into Heliod's temple, and tells the truth about Heliod and the gods. Here he is in Heliod's greatest temple, actively insulting the god and challenging his authority. He's pretty much asking for a Bolt of Divine Retribution. Not only does he walk away untouched (save for Heliod possessing a child to try and Break Them by Talking to no avail), but his arguments encourage the people of Theros to begin questioning their cruel pantheon. It's at this point that Ajani decides what battle he wants to fight: a Rage Against the Heavens to topple the gods.
- The story of how Sorin, Ugin, and Nahiri seal away the Eldrazi in The Lithomancer. Nahiri slaves away for forty years to make the hedrons which can seal the titans, and their plan succeeds despite the odds.
- Before Ugin arrives, Nahiri and Sorin are protecting a camp of refugees, and Sorin suggests leaving them in order to focus on the Eldrazi. Nahiri not only refuses, but she uses her magic to make a sword for one of the refugees. In the bigger picture, these people are meaningless, but Nahriri refuses to abandon them even though they're not even from her home plane. In spite of Sorin's scorn, she's determined to do what she can to help them.
- A villainous one ensues as we finally get to see what the Eldrazi are fully capable of. We've been told they can obliterate planes, but here we see it, and it's just as terrifying as it sounds.
- Kiora gets into a fight with Thassa. Although she can't match the God of the Sea in raw power or command over the beasts of the ocean, she can do one thing Thassa can't: Planeswalk. So with her sea creatures turned against her, and held helpless at the mercy of an angry, vengeful God, she cuts her losses and departs, but not before she steals Thassa's bident.
- Oath of the Gatewatch previews have revealed a pair of cards: Bonds of Mortality can be used to strip an opponent's creatures of hexproof and indestructible, while Fall of the Titans deals a huge amount of damage to two targets, as much as you have the mana to pay for. But the real awesome is in their flavor texts, which confirms that those cards mean exactly what it sounds like they mean.
Bonds of Mortality: Jace discovered the leyline pattern needed to anchor Ulamog and Kozilek to reality, but it was Nissa who could trace it on her world.Fall of the Titans: As Gideon kept the brood lineages at bay, Chandra incinerated the bound Eldrazi titans.
- In the novel of 'Fifth Dawn', Glissa Sunseeker is faced with a desperate situation. Yert, a powerful vampire with an artifact that allows him to control any and all nonsentient life on Mirrodin, has his Nim hold a lot of leonin and goblin children hostage, with a mind-link to the zombies that allows him to give the order to kill instantly. Glissa has one trick up her sleeve, however. With a one-use teleport stone that she was saving for later, she rapidly yells "Yertyertyert!", and promptly teleports inside of Yert, punches his head off, explodetonates his body, and snatches the artifact out of mid-air to stop the Nim.
- At the climax of the first Ravnica novel, Savra the Golgari Queen is taking control of Mat'Selesnya, and the city is careening into chaos and violence. Agrus Kos, Feather, and their remaining allies are stuck at the Wojek headquarters while the city bursts into chaos around them. They have to get to the Selesnya Conclave fast and all they have to them is a critically injured and barely floating zeppelid that can't fly under its own power. Desperate, Feather allows Kos to break the bonds on her wings. The next chapter opens with Feather smashing through the Conclave's walls, hurling the explosive remains of the zeppelid into Savra's army and then taking on Savra's entire air force by herself.
- Merciless Resolve makes one thing perfectly clear: Sorin is done with Nahiri's shit.
- In the Eldritch Moon trailer, Liliana Vess steps up to bat. As Innistrad becomes an absolute mess around her, she calls forth a legion of zombies... which then break into mad dashes toward Emrakul!
Liliana: "Well, Gared, it appears that I am this world's last hope."
- This is further elaborated in Innistrad's Last Hope. Liliana, with the Chain Veil at her hip rather than on her face, marches away from Olivia's manor as the departing vampires, Sorin with them, go to combat Nahiri. As she walks, she waves her hand over graves, willing the dead to rise, and speaks to her attendant Gerad as she observes how Emrakul's influence holds no sway over the dead.
- Sorin Markov's fight against Nahiri in Campaign of Vengeance is one of the most epic planeswalker confrontations after the mending.
- Sorin amassed an army of vampire knights by making an Enemy Mine alliance with Olivia Voldaren, a rival of House Markov. Nahiri's forces on the other hand are a large group of cultists who were drawn to her work in Innistrad and gave her the title of The Harbinger. As the armies clash, Nahiri manipulates the battlefield so she could face Sorin in one-on-one combat.
- Sorin attempts to use death magic on Nahiri but it backfires when Nahiri manipulates the leylines in the surrounding rocks to turn Sorin's magic against him.
- Olivia's vampires intervene but Nahiri reveals unleashes a hidden swarm of Eldrazified creatures to rout the vampires.
- Despite Nahiri's obvious terrain advantage, Sorin's speed allows him to break through Nahiri's stone defenses, stab her with his sword and disarm her.
- As Nahiri bleeds out, Sorin tries to dispatch her the traditional vampire way- by biting her. Nahiri responds by encasing Sorin in a cocoon of stone with spikes that impale him so he is unable to focus on planeswalking away. Nahiri gives Sorin a Bond One-Liner that's an Ironic Echo of what Sorin did to her and planewalks away.
- Crossing over with Tear Jerker, the battle as a whole is very different from other battles in the lore. At its core, it's about two former friends who had a falling out and crossed the line to get revenge on one another- Nahiri by condemning an entire plane to an Eldrazi apocalypse and Sorin by leaving his plane to die so he could carry out his vendetta on his old student.
- The card called Imprisoned In The Moon: Only one vault was great enough to hold Emrakul. The card does exactly what it sounds like: it can enchant any creature, land or Planeswalker and make them into a colorless land, stripping them of all other card types and abilities. The card drawing shows exactly how far this extends: Nissa and Tamiyo turning the Moon into a giant Helvault (the original was made from just a fragment of the Moon) to imprison Emrakul forever.
- In This Very Arena, Tezzeret has just pulled a Curb-Stomp Battle on Pia Nalaar (via blatant cheating) and is about to deal the finishing blow... only for his automaton to get reduced to a smoking pile of scrap by a firebolt. Cue Chandra jumping in the arena to rescue her dear old mom. Tezzeret gloats a bit and taunts her she versus him is hardly a fair fight. Chandra's response?
Chandra: Nobody said anything about a fair fight.
- Bonus point for Tezzeret having a slight Oh, Crap! moment as he recognizes them and takes a step back. He may be strong, but he is also alone against an entire team of Planeswalkers, two of which have a personal beef against him (Jace and Liliana). Three if Chandra is added.
- Burn: a small one for Dovin Baan. Despite being Tezzeret's Dragon, the man still has morals, and gives us a particularly satifying moment when he arrests Baral for Kiran's murder, Chandra's - attempted - execution, Pia's imprisonment and falsifying the records to hide his crimes. Not only that, he proceeds to counter every single argument used by Baral and reveal how despicable the man is.
Dovin:Chief Inspector Dhiren Baral, I charge you with one count of murder—possibly with more yet to be uncovered—and one count of attempted murder. I charge you with one count of extrajudicial incarceration—again, possibly with more to be revealed. Finally, I charge you with multiple counts of falsification of the public record, with the express intention of obscuring your crimes. You are a disgrace to your uniform, and a disquieting aberration to the ideals the Consulate espouses. Though I personally find your offenses...vexing in the extreme, the law requires that even you must be judged in court. Be aware that your every statement from this point forward shall be entered into the official record as evidence.
- The Skies over Ghirapur: Jace creates an illusion of Kari's old fleet (which was sunk by the Skysovereign) so real it leaves her breathless... then the skypirate lures an Aether Whale toward the airship - which is basically the Consulate's mothership - and it effortlessly demolishes it by simply flying into it.
- Breaking Points: Dovin Baan has sabotaged the Hope of Ghirapur, destroying the aether disruptor that was the Gatewatch's only hope of destroying the Planar Bridge. Chandra's response? Climb into the payload compartment.
Chandra: "From close range, I could be the disruptor. When I fought Baral, before Nissa pulled me out of it, I was just about to complete a spell...Little thing. Big boom."
- In The Hand That Moves, Nissa makes her way into Kefnet's Trial, which is an illusory labyrinth full of terrifying visions. While she's trying to figure out what's going on, and read the world's leylines to learn how Amonkhet got broken, she's visited by a vestige/echo of Emrakul who asks her "Are you a pawn? Or a queen?" After a moment of confusion, the vestige snaps at her "No! It is the wrong question! Pawns, queens, they're all still pieces! All still pieces, waiting to be moved. Stop being a piece, Nissa. Be the hand that moves."
- Unfortunately, her presence summons Kefnet himself, who confronts Nissa for corrupting his Trial. While Kefnet's blasting her with pure mana to dissolve her body and soul, Nissa uses the insight Emrakul's echo showed her to twist the leylines of Amonkhet in such a way as to make Kefnet (who, as a god, is inextricably part of the plane) think she instead passed his trial.
- If the Hour of Devastation card preview is to be believed, Samut, the only native in Amonkhet who rose and questioned the trials, becomes a Planeswalker!!!. No one can say she didn't deserve it.
- In The Hour of Revelation, the fall of Amonkhet and how Nicol Bolas became the God-Pharaoh is revealed. We get to see the power of one of the most powerful pre-Mending planeswalkers, as Nicol Bolas defeats an entire plane in a single day.
Kefnet, caretaker of the Hekma, was straining to keep the magical barrier together. The dragon tipped his chin and fractured Kefnet's mind in two.
- Highlights include Nicol Bolas in a battle of minds against the God of Knowledge, Kefnet, that is finished with a single gesture of the dragon.
The gods felt a surge of mana weave around the dragon as a tangle of malevolence. They grasped desperately for spells to protect and defend. But they were too slow. The dragon opened his eyes and every mortal old enough to walk dissipated into the sky.
- And with a single spell killing every sentient thing able to walk on the entire plane.
- From Hour of Glory, Rhonas' Dying Moment of Awesome. Rising to his feet with the last of his strength, remembering the truth about Amonkhet and Bolas in his dying moments, and transforming his staff into a giant serpent to try and kill the Scorpion God one final time while cursing Bolas for what he did to their world.
"Death to the God-Pharaoh, foul trespasser and destroyer!"
- Endure: Samut and Djeru's rescue of Hazoret. First, the pair kill Neheb the Worthy, a minotaur Eternal said to be one of the greatest fighters of Amonkhet, thanks to Gideon tanking his attacks and Samut backstabbing him. Then they find Hazoret fighting the Scorpion God. Hazoret is on her last leg, badly injured from her fight with it and Bontu. Samut proceeds to wound the god through its weakened chitin while Djeru prepares a trap to impale it on obelisks. When it looks like the Scorpion God won't fall, a khenra swings Rhonas's reforged staff to knock it while Djeru and other fighters trip it in the obelisks. The god won't fall right? Samut kicks him in it. Finally, Hazoret gives it the final blow along with a goodbye, remembering that the Scorpion God was once her brother, and incinerates it from the inside out. At long last, a god that killed three of the five gods, including the God of Strength, lies dead. And it was mostly done by mortal hands.
- Hour of Devastation is one for Nicol Bolas. He breaks Jace's mind with what seems like a mere touch, convinces Liliana to retreat without a fight, Chandra's flames merely offend him, turns the land against Nissa and pierces Gideon's invulnerability with a single talon. His opening speech is a wonderful, talking about how much he expects to be disappointed by the heroes. They only escape because he knows they can't defeat him
- Jace, Alone The fact that Jace, of all people, stranded on a desert island, managed to survive and even sail away. Keep in mind Jace is a mentalist. Doing menial and otherwise physical tasks is not his schtick. He does it nonetheless, all the while hallucinating about his former allies his illusion magic makes real. Oh, and being amnesiac on top of that.
- An out of universe example, but Guardians of Meletis are Magic's first LGBT couple, breaking the Hide Your Gays that has happened for 20 years (though Rakish Heir is meant to be fanservice to gay males). Previously, Xantcha was a well written, sympathetic "trans" character, but she is unfortunately only present in one book, and the only two characters with hints of non-heterosexual orientation, a random warlord and a Viashino prostitute, are both one scene wonders, and the former a severe case of Depraved Bisexual.
- And finally, The Truth Of Names.
She had been so different—only sixteen, a boy in everyone's eyes but her own, about to choose and declare her name before the khan and all the Mardu.The khan had walked among the warriors, hearing the tales of their glorious deeds. One by one, they declared their new war names, and each time, the khan shouted the names for all to hear. Each time, the horde shouted the name as one, shaking the earth.Then the khan came to Alesha. She stood before him, snakes coiling in the pit of her stomach, and told how she had slain her first dragon. The khan nodded and asked her name."Alesha," she said, as loudly as she could. Just Alesha, her grandmother's name."Alesha!" the khan shouted, without a moment's pause.And the whole gathered horde shouted "Alesha!" in reply. The warriors of the Mardu shouted her name.In that moment, if anyone had told her that in three years' time she would be khan, she just might have dared to believe it.
- Compounding the inclusion of a heroic, non-tragic transgender character; Beyer confirms that Narset is on the autistic spectrum.