- Timbermare was created as a tribute to pro player Jamie Wakefield's wife Marilyn (nicknamed "Lovely Mare"), who died of ovarian cancer. Keep in mind that Magic sets are designed about a year in advance, and Planar Chaos came out about a year after her death, meaning that the card was designed almost immediately after the tragedy. The full story.
- Being the creator of a multi-billion dollar game allows Richard Garfield to create some nifty cards. But there's more! The art of the first card was left undocumented by Garfield's request, which was for the longest time honored by the entire Internet (but can now be seen here◊). The second card speaks for itself, and if you don't get the art for the third, consider why the artist put four plates on the table.
- Terese Nielsen talks about the inspiration for the art of Descendant's Path, and how her family figured in it.
- In Emenberry Red, Erebos helping Pavios in the only way he can. Pity it's tragic...
- When Elspeth has been cast out as a scapegoat for Xenagos' ascension and turned against by seemingly all of Theros, including Heliod, Ajani comes looking for her and becomes her companion on the quest to slay Xenagos, along with the leonin of Theros. Cemented by Solidarity of Heroes.
- Even amidst the Downer Ending of Godsend, there's heartwarming to be found. Elspeth's breath slowed as he took her beyond the boundary of Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx and laid her upon the bare earth. He wouldn't let her die at the feet of the gods. Even in Elspeth's last moments, Ajani is still there for her.]
- Likewise, the trailer for Journey Into Nyx seems to cast Erebos in an almost-fatherly light, reciting a litany of comfort and respect for Elspeth, as if to tell her how proud he is of her.
- Reviving Melody, which depicts a woman rescuing her husband from the Underworld, telling him "Listen to my song, and you need never forge a golden mask to return to me."note
- The flavor text on Ogre Resister:He didn't have a word for "home," but he knew it was something to be defended.
- Nahiri's defiance of Sorin's cynical take on their resistance against the Eldrazi:Any hope is better than none. Always.
- Ojutai's So Proud of You moment as his student Narset surpasses him. Even if it could be argued he has ulterior motives of wanting to keep the truth of his subjugation of the former Jeskai and the existence of Ugin hidden when he implicitly exhorts Narset to planeswalk.
- The Mardu's acceptance of Alesha is a Tear Jerker for transgender players.
- Alesha's interactions with the nameless orc who gives her grief about her identity are pretty sweet too. She initially calls him out, curious as to why he would pass up a kill that would have earned him the right to choose a name, but when she has a chance to see him fight, she comes to realize that his contributions are just as valuable as those of the warriors who make the kills. She pulls him aside after the battle and assures him that he shouldn't think of his accomplishments as not being glorious just because Mardu culture doesn't recognize them as such. To prove her point, she even calls up some of the clan's most distinguished warriors to testify about how this orc saved their lives in previous battles. In turn, he rescinds his initial dismissiveness towards her identity and tells a story of her glory on the battlefield.
- The Dromoka of Tarkir, in the new timeline, are basically a big, giant familial meritocracy in which dragons have a bunch of 'children' adopted, and everyone is welcome. Unlike most of the other Dragonlords, Dromoka has nothing but respect and protection for her subjects, and really, just look at the art for Dromoka's Gift. She's just so proud of the brave warrior to have earned one of her scales, like a parent at a child's graduation.
- Another thing to consider in the Dromoka is that unlike any other clan, the dragons and non-dragons freely speak to each other, with mutual respect. Not even the Ojutai can claim that.
- Still, the meritocracy angle, as pointed out here, is a bit depressing, considering that Dromoka is a social darwinist, if a bit nicer than most.
- Sarkhan, upon arriving at the new dragon-filled Tarkir, runs and flies around as happy as can be, kid-in-a-candystore style, only briefly stopping to give hugs to a goblin he once knew in the old timeline.
- Zendikar Resurgent, from Oath of the Gatewatch. Finally, after all the horror of the Zendikar storyline, all the torment and suffering brought on by the Eldrazi, Zendikar is finally safe. Ulamog and Kozilek are gone. Zendikar can heal. The nightmare is finally over, and we have the Gatewatch on standby to take down Emrakul and anyone or anything else who dares threaten the safety of the Multiverse.
- In a particularly odd version of this trope, some of Emrakul/Emeria's dialog in The Promised End implies that she gives Tamiyo the power to seal herself into the moon because some part of her is aware that the inhabitants of Innistrad don't want to be remade in her image.Emeria: "This is all wrong. I am incomplete, unfulfilled, inchoate. There should be blossoms, not barren resentment. The soil was not receptive. It is not my time. Not yet."
- At the end of Homesick, the Gatewatch has been informed by Dovin Baan of Chandra's less-than-legitimate past, and the incident that cost her her family. Dovin tries to justify himself by explaining how dangerous pyromancers are on Kaladesh. Jace, Gideon, and Nissa don't give a damn, and instead collectively decide to go after her, just to make sure she's safe. Because she may be impulsive and her powers may be destructive enough to take down Eldrazi, but she is one of them and, as Gideon says, her heart is the size of the moon.
- Earlier before, in a surprisingly selfless moment, Liliana providing emotional support to Chandra after she storms off, even letting her have a necromancer joke and planeswalking with her to Kaladesh.
- Cathartic Reunion, from Kaladesh. Chandra and her mother Pia are finally reunited after 12 long years of believing each other to be dead.
- In Release, Ajani finds Chandra, Nissa, and Oviya Pashiri being gassed to death and leaps at a guard, swinging his axe at the man's throat in Unstoppable Rage. But then he sees the guard's life with his empathetic abilities and, while in the middle of the attack and desperate to save his friends, he alters the swing's angle so that it lands a non-lethal blow on the man's chestplate instead. Because the guard isn't a Planeswalker or a villain, he's just a man with a family.
Nashi put his arms around the giant, but couldn't reach even halfway. "It's all right to let it out," he said. "We all got you."
- From the same story, while Ajani is visiting Tamiyo on Kamigawa, he tells Elspeth's story to the children Tamiyo looks after, confessing that he feels that he should have died instead of Elspeth:
Ajani's shoulders bent and shuddered. He covered his eyes with one hand.
The rain began to fall.
The children sat with him, around him, a forest of hands on his shoulders and arms and back and knees. Saying nothing. Just breathing.
It rained for a very long time.
- Amidst the emotional rollercoaster that is Burn, there are some particularly heartwarming moments. For starters, Gideon's support of Chandra as she suffers from an emotional turmoil, comforting her as she sees herself as a Failure Hero who, in her own words, "always screws up", and even gives her a hug when she (clumsily) asks him for one. Then there's Nissa backing Chandra during her fight against Baral and later calming her down as she nearly performs a suicide attack to take him down. Finally, Gideon again lets her have some time alone with her mother, who has been busy planning and commanding the rebellions and couldn't afford to spend time with her.
- In his own way, Dovin Baan, Lawful Neutral that he is, gives his own moment in this chapter, dressing down Baral and highlighting how, no, the punishment he dealt out to the Nalaar family did not fit the crime at all, and in fact was extremely excessive and illegal. Finally, it seems that justice is being given to the Nalaars, and by a man of the Consulate at that.
- In a stark contrast to heaviness and uncertainty of the end of Eldritch Moon, Renewal ends Kaladesh on a remarkably positive, if Tear Jerker filled, note. To hit a few high points:
- Pia is instated as a member of the Consulate in an attempt to root out the corruption and better serve the citizens of Kaladesh.
- Pia and Chandra face Baral once more to let him know that his mage hunts are over, and that he will be left to rot in his cell rather than being given the glory of a public execution.
- Ajani, still grappling with his grief over Elspeth's death, joins the Gatewatch.
- Ajani's Gatewatch oath is perhaps the most touching and sad so far: "Until all have found their place, I will keep watch." Previously, he had said that all Elspeth wanted was a home, and the oath he swears to the Gatewatch is to stand beside them until everyone has that simplest of things.
- Yahenni gets their penultimate party, and faces their death with poise and dignity. And Oviya gets a new car out of the deal.
- Nissa has a touching moment with Yahenni when she reveals to them the nature of the multiverse.
- Pia and Chandra make up for some bonding time, and Pia gives Chandra the freedom to be true to herself as a Planeswalker, declining for Chandra, the free spirit she is, to remain on Kaladesh.
- Chandra and Nissa grow closer, possibly hinting at the potential of a relationship.
- While teaching Chandra a meditation, Nissa reaches the reborn spirit of Yahenni, showing that they may have died, but they are certainly not gone, and takes they time to greet the new life to the world like a loving mother.
- Yahenni and Nissa's final conversation. When we first met Yahenni they were musing on what would happen to them after they die and their body dissipates. Here, Nissa answers the question: the Aether is what connects all the planes of the Multiverse, flowing from one world to another. After an Aetherborn dies, their Aether will flow throughout the multiverse for eternity. Yahenni considers this secret to be the greatest gift anyone's ever given them.
- Aven of Enduring Hope. Even during the Darkest Hour of Amonkhet, there is still those who hold on to hope.This storm will calm. We must believe that.
- Endure: Planswalkers' sparks are usually ignited during life-or-death situations or intense mental trauma. What made Samut's spark ignite? Hazoret being proud of her and the sheer euphoria that ensured.
"...But even as the great trespasser rained destruction down upon the ruins of Naktamun, Hazoret, the God-Survivor, mother and protector of the mortals of Amonkhet, shepherded her children from certain ruin. And so it was, and so it shall be, divinity and mortals marching into an unknown future."
- The ending of Endure in general. Samut and Djeru successfully rescued Hazoret, killing the Scorpion God in the process, and even though the goddess is wounded, she is safe. Hazoret then expresses her pride in Samut for having seen through the lies and darkness and for saving her life when she was meant to be the one defending mortals. This causes Samut's spark to ignite. Hazoret finally takes the survivors of Naktamun with her, vows to protect them in the desert, and leaves the ruined city behind as Djeru swears to return the favor. The chapter ends with these words:
- Jace, Alone: Jace's sheer glee at rediscovering his magic and realizing he is a mage. It makes him behave as happy as a kid in a candy store... then goes straight into Tear Jerker when it comes to him that, even with them, he is completely alone.
- The stories The Talented Captain Vraska, Something Else Entirely, and The Race, Part 2 chronicle Vraska's newfound affection towards amnesiac Jace.
- First, upon seeing his amnesia makes Jace a totally different person from her Arch-Nemesis the Guildpact, Vraska can't bring herself to kill him and takes him among her crew. In return, Jace helps her and the crew to the best of his skills, repairing tools, cloaking their ship in invisibility, and using his illusions to help in fights.
- Jace isn't remotely scared of Vraska, not even when she petrifies a vampire before him, and compliments her on her abilities, calling her "talented".
- When Vraska mentions her past, Jace actually sympathizes with her and offers her kindness and understanding, something that takes Vraska off-guard. After that, they also have a few more heart-to-heart talks where each show their best side to the other.
- Vraska then muses about taking Jace on a date once their mission is over. D'awww...
- In The Race, Part 2, upon reaching Orazca, Vraska experiences Jace's memories and comes to the conclusion that Jace is regaining his memories. She is horrified and heartbroken at that prospect (especially considering their animosity) after spending so many days with his amnesiac self and growing fond of him that way. However, at the end of The Flood, after most of Jace's memories return, Jace and Vraska have a heart-to-heart conversation, where they solidify their friendship (and Jace confirms that his time on Vraska's crew was "the best three months of [his] life"). Jace then decides that, now that he can remember his mom, he's going to do his best to become someone she can be proud of.
- Who tells the Stories: Huatli tells her family about her nature as a Planeswalker. Not only is her family deeply supportive, they also encourage her to go against the emperor's wishes and travel to other worlds to do her duty as the warrior-poet, gathering stories and retelling them. Because this is who she is, and this is the right thing to do. They even help her pack and sneak in the Temple of the Burning Sun to retrieve the helm of the Warrior-Poet for her.
- Elenda shutting down Vona's desire for the Immortal Sun and going home to Torrezon to give her people a reminder on what their Empire is supposed to stand for.
- Just Huatli's Character Development during the "Rivals of Ixalan" set is a Heartwarming Moment for her. She ends up going from a Knight Templar of the Sun Empire with Fantastic Racism towards the other inhabitants of the plane to someone who sees the value and flaws in all the different factions, seeking to unite them in peace instead of crushing them under for the Empire, no doubt thanks due the new viewpoints of Angrath and Elenda.
- As Wool Over The Eyes ties off all the threads of the Ixalan block storyline, so many things seem to be going right.
Angrath: "Rumi. Jamira. I'm home."
- Huatli planeswalks to Kaladesh, where she gets her first look at another plane's cultures and is like a kid in a candy shop. And then she meets Saheeli Rai, and tells the tales of her people in exchange for Saheeli's own stories.
- After years imprisoned on Ixalan, Angrath finally is able to return to his daughters. And for the first time since we met him, he is not angry, or shouting.
He heard quick footsteps on metal and saw Gideon skid out from a nearby door, eyes wide and body frozen with shock. His expression was overcome with emotion. This was someone who was happy to the point of tears to see that he was alive. This was a friend.Jace grinned with elation.Jace: Gideon! I'm not dead!
- Jace finally manages to reunite with one of his friends.
- Even with the hints of trouble in the future, it's still wonderful to see the Sun Empire return to its ancient home.
- The mini-comic Gift of the Necromagi (a "Gift of the Magi" Plot, basically) is part Black Comedy and this: A necromagus bought a presumably rare rhox corpse for her Mad Scientist boyfriend for experiments, only to find out that he has sold his vivisection tools to buy her a pricey Tome of Eldritch Lore, which she can't use now that she has sold her sacrificial altar to buy said corpse. They later Take a Third Option.
- Kaladesh's trailer will flatter you until your heart will explode.
- It's been a long time coming, eleven years actually, but Magic is finally going back to the plane where it all started. For its 25th anniversary, the Dominaria set seems to have been designed from the ground up to be a love letter to Magic's origins and long time fans with cards like Legendary Sorceries and Enchantment Sagas that depict the most memorable scenes of the past. And the iconic ship of Magic's early storylines, the Weatherlight, has been raised and restored.
- And while the set gives plenty of nods to the past, it also has one eye on the future: an entirely new crew is being assembled for the Weatherlight, headed by none other than the Jhoira.
- It might seem twisted, but Yawgmoth's Vile Offering can tug at the heartstrings of many players, being a perfect rendition of one of the most important moment of the whole storyline, as well as the first time since Planar Chaos that the Ineffable gets a card named after him.
- While fans debated the quality of the Dominaria short stories released on Magic website, come Chapter 10, a certain Legendary Memetic Mutation inducing Thallid makes its first appearance. The response from Reddit and Twitter's Magic community was an overwhelming "Squeeeeeeeee!" at the antics of Slimefoot and its Thallid babies aboard the Weatherlight.
- From the War of the Spark trailer, Liliana's redemption. As she leads the Eternals, she sees a girl desperately trying to lead her younger brother to safety, only for them both to be crushed by a collapsing building, undoubtedly reminding her of her own desperate attempts to save Josu. For just a moment, her hand falls into the gesture from when she swore her Gatewatch oath, only to curl into a fist as she turns around and sends the entire Eternal army against Bolas, choosing to fight for something more than her own survival despite knowing that Bolas will kill her for her betrayal.
- War of the Spark just generally shows how The Apocalypse Brings Out the Best in People:Defiant Strike: My family was saved thanks to a single Boros soldier. It's why I joined the Legion. I will be the protector now.Ignite the Beacon: "If you can't save yourself, you fight to give someone else a chance." — Ajani GoldmaneBand Together: In times of peril, the vision the ancient paruns had for their city comes into focus.Aid the Fallen: "I never liked you. Now get up - we have a fight to finish."Mobilized District: Sometimes the strongest weapon you can hold in your hand is another hand.
- Exemplified best in the Bond Cycle of cards: To date, all three Ravnica blocks have been about the endless conflict between the Ten Guilds of Ravnica. Only now, with their world on the verge of annihilation, do we see members of different guilds coming together, and bonding over what they have in common, rather than what they don't.Bond Of Flourishing (Selesnya and Simic): We agree that life should flourish. We disagree on the optimal number of limbs.Bond Of Discipline (Azorius and Orzhov): We agree that order benefits everyone, but not until you enforce it.Bond Of Insight (Izzet and Dimir): Together we can unlock secrets no one has ever dreamed of. I might even let you remember some of them.Bond Of Revival (Rakdos and Golgari): Today, we throw off the yoke of death. Either this is an affirmation of the eternal cyclical nature of life, or it's just hilarious-depends on which of us you ask.Bond Of Passion (Boros and Gruul): Why don't we fight for what's right, and let bureaucrats argue over details?
- Exemplified best in the Bond Cycle of cards: To date, all three Ravnica blocks have been about the endless conflict between the Ten Guilds of Ravnica. Only now, with their world on the verge of annihilation, do we see members of different guilds coming together, and bonding over what they have in common, rather than what they don't.
- Though Gideon's death is sad, his reunion with his Irregular friends in the afterlife is a happy one. Kytheon was finally at peace.
- His death is also a perfect reflection of his character; He dies by taking the price of Liliana's betrayal upon himself, not only dying to save the life of a friend, but trusting her to do the right thing.
- Even though some fans are afraid that the romance between Ral and Tomik will soften Ral's personality, the most can't help but to feel a little warm and fuzzy inside.
- Ajani's lines in Arena establish him as the kind of guy who believes in the best of his allies and always has their back.
- Imposter of the Sixth Pride's Flavor Text.The tribe was as strong as his longing, their territory was as vast as his isolation. The changeling knew he had found a home, and a form.
- In Forsaken, when Liliana chooses her new identity the name she picks is "Ana Iora". Ana for her old teacher and Iora for Gideon (though she doesn't want to admit the last part)
- Oketra may be dead, but her teachings are far from lost.
- The core 2021 set has a series of dog cards, with flavor text to prove they truly are man's best friend.
She raised him from an orphaned pup and gave him a life of love. With his last act, he thanked her.
- Selfless Savior's flavor text perfectly captures the card's concept.
He will be your loyal champion, and his pack your protectors. All he asks for is a full belly, a spot by the fire, and all the love in your heart."On the eighth day, a blizzard hit. Supplies were lost, and morale plummeted. On the ninth day, Dover found us."
- The flavor text on Pack Leader describes his fierce loyalty.
- Rin and Seri, Inseparable might be the best thing to come out of the 2021 core set.
I do not miss Jukai Forest. It is not my home. My home is Kamigawa, its people my family. Wherever I set my pack and rest my head, I am home.
- Also from 2021, Azusa, Lost but Seeking. Home is where the heart is indeed.
- The secret lair print of Teferi's Protection, depicting Teferi playing with his daughter."I've walked a hundred worlds, but you are my universe."
- Mana Confluence from Commander Legends. Despite the destruction and suffering wrought by Bolas, Ravnica endures.Teysa Karlov: Ravnica is not its buildings or markets, or even its guilds. Ravnica is its people. As long as were here, we can rebuild the rest.
- In the Strixhaven story, a throwaway comment from Will mentions that Garruk refused to leave them until he was certain that they were safe.
- Also in Strixhaven, the flavor text of Infuse with Vitality, shows how a bit of Empaty can help people
- At the end of the story, Liliana Vess, the multiverse's most wanted necromancer and war-criminal, goes to class teaching introductory necromancy. Shows how far she's come.
- Innistrad: Midnight Hunt surprises with some of the Transform cards. A lot of them depict seemingly normal people, some rude and some kind, and has the Disturb mechanic that lets them be brought back from the graveyard transformed. You might expect it to be werewolves, like most transform cards, or malevolent spirits, but they're not. Most of them return from the graveyard as genuinly benevolent and kind spirits, only there to help the living that were kind to them in life. Best exemplified in Malevolent Hermit, a cruel and strict wizard in life, but when he returns...All his old grudges suddenly seemed laughably petty. So he laughed.
- Also in Midnight Hunt, it's revealed by Six, Wrenn's tree buddy, is refered to as male despite being... a tree. Trees have no innate sense of gender, but dryads do. After bonding with Wrenn, Six learned of the concept and, after some consideration, concluded that he liked being male.
- It was long implied that Edgar Markov disowned Sorin after the creation of Avacyn; Crimson Vow reveals that while Sorin often felt condescended to by his grandfather, the two remained remarkably close throughout the millennia, and Sorin often sought out the elder vampire for advice. His concern for his grandfather after discovering his missing coffin crosses over into Tear Jerker, but it's far more affection than we often see for the ancient brooding planeswalker.
- Kindly Ancestor from Crimson Vow adds additional points, being a kind grandmother knitting a magical protection for her granddaughter. The artist of the piece actually based it on her deceased grandmother.
Heartwarming / Magic: The Gathering