Teyo Verada wants nothing more than to be a shieldmage, wielding arcane energies to protect his people from his worlds vicious diamondstorms. When hes buried alive in the aftermath of his first real tempest, the young mages life is about to end before it can truly beginuntil it doesnt. In a flash, a power he didnt know he had whisks him away from his home, to a world of stone, glass, and wonder: Ravnica. Teyo is a Planeswalker, one of many to be called to the world-spanning cityall lured by Nicol Bolas, the Elder Dragon. Bolas lays siege to the city of Ravnica, hungry for the ultimate prize: godhood itself. His unparalleled magic and unstoppable army appear poised to bring the city to utter ruin.
Among those who stand in the way of Bolass terrifying machinations are the Gatewatch, Planeswalkers sworn to defeat evil, no matter where its found. But as they work to unite the other mages and mount a defense of the city and its people, the terrifying truth of Bolass plan becomes clear. The Elder Dragon has prepared a trap to ensnare the most powerful mages from across the Multiverseand its too late to escape.
As forces great and small converge on the city and the battle rages, the stakes could not be higher. If the Gatewatch falters and the Planeswalkers fail, the curtain will fall on the age of heroesand rise on the infinite reign of Nicol Bolas.
This book provides examples of:
- 100% Adoration Rating: Everyone seems to love Rat. Her friends include Emmara Tandris, Hekara the razor-witch, and even Borborygmos (who thinks she's adorable). This comes in handy when the Gatewatch and their allies are trying to rally the Guilds to their cause.
- Action Survivor: Teyo Verada has the misfortune of igniting his Spark, and landing on Ravnica, just before the battle starts. He doesn't even initially know what a Planeswalker is, and his magic is almost purely defense-based, but he manages to survive the War when far more experienced 'walkers did not.
- And I Must Scream: Bolas is robbed of his Spark and imprisoned in his Meditation Realm, which he can now never leave, meaning that for all his magical power and intelligence, he is trapped in an empty prison that he can never escape.
- Back from the Dead:
- Barrier Warrior: Teyos magic creates geometric force fields that he uses to protect others.
- Batman Gambit: Dovin predicted that the Gatewatch would send the three members of their group with personal grudges against him (Chandra, Saheeli, and Lavinia) and planned his defenses accordingly. How do they beat him? The "Chandra" Dovin fights is actually Lazav. The real Chandra took out the Immortal Sun while he was distracted.
- Broken Masquerade: As a result of the War, the existence of other worlds, Planeswalkers, and the status of several high-ranking members of Ravnican society as Planeswalkers, including Jace, Ral, Vraska, and Kaya, is now public knowledge. Ravnica is now the only plane in the multiverse we know of where this is so.
- Brought Down to Normal: Bolas' fate: to have his own Spark harvested by the Elderspell, robbing him not only of godhood, but of the ability to Planeswalk period. This would usually leave him a powerful dragon mage, but Ugin removed his name, and thus power and identity as well.
- By the Eyes of the Blind: Araithia "Rat" Shokta, was born with an ability that makes her invisible, or at least unnoticeable, to all but a few people, including her mother, Hekara, Teyo, Kaya, and her godfather Boruvo. Other people can see her if they know to look for her, but have to actively concentrate to do so, including her father.
- Came Back Wrong: A fairly minor example for the trope, but whatever it is that allows certain people to see Rat, Hekara, Rat's best friend, loses it upon being resurrected as a blood-witch.
- A Death in the Limelight: Despite popularity with the fans, Dack Fayden had only starred in his own comic, and never interacted with the Gatewatch, or appeared in the Bolas Arc before this novel. He nonetheless features prominently as a frequent POV character, is integral to shutting down the Planar Bridge, and gets a hefty dose of Character Development... before being brutally killed by an eternal.
- Extremely Short Timespan: The story begins at dawn, and ends at sunset the very same day. Teyo even lampshades the fact that it feels like a million years.
- Eye Scream: Dovin Baan takes a face full of shrapnel, losing his eyes in the process.
- Final Battle: After at least three years of build-up starting all the way back in Oath Of The Gatewatch (2016), and arguably further back then that, this details the culmination of Bolas' decades long plan, and the alliance of dozens of Planeswalkers, and all of Ravnica, trying to stop him.
- Killed Offscreen: Nicol Bolas kills Niv-Mizzet shortly before the start of the book, and Niv-Mizzet is first seen as a spirit in a Soul Jar. He eventually gets brought back to life.
- Late to the Tragedy: The Gatewatch arrive on Ravnica thinking they only have a short time to warn the Guilds about Bolas... only to discover he'd been there for weeks, with the Guilds having already tried and failed to stop him, and Niv-Mizzet has already been killed in battle against him.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: Features not only every named Planeswalker in the franchise's current era, not to mention a sizable portion of Ravnica's recurring characters, but introduces several new ones, most prominently Teyo and Rat.
- Reality Ensues: Despite being the hand behind what most people thought was the final blow against Bolas, Liliana has a contract put on her for the slaughter of hundreds of Ravnicans by the Eternals under her control.
- Reforged into a Minion: The dead gods of Amonkhet have been reanimated as the God-Eternals, the most powerful zombies in Bolass undead army.
- Royal "We": Bolas, after harvesting a few dozen Sparks, begins reffering to himself like this-and speaking in ALL CAPS for good measure. He stops after his own Spark is harvested.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
- After the Gatewatch disable the Immortal Sun a large number of the Planeswalker's fighting alongside them immediately depart. Not all, though.
- Once the Planar Bridge is destroyed, Tezzeret, whom Bolas had assigned to guard it, immediately takes off, and (genuinely) wishes the heroes best of luck in killing Bolas; he'd never had any loyalty to the dragon, and Bolas becoming a god would only get in the way of his own plans.
- Subverted with Dack, who spends the whole book planning to do this, but can't bring himself to when he has the chance. He really should've.
- Soul Jar: Niv-Mizzet created one in anticipation of his own death. His spirit is already occupying it by the start of the book.
- Summon Bigger Fish: Bolas counters the awakened Vitu-Ghazi by bringing in the God-Eternals, who make short work of the gargantuan tree.
- When Trees Attack: Nissa brings Vitu-Ghazi, the giant tree that serves as the guildhall for the Selesnya Conclave, to life as a gargantuan elemental. It goes on a rampage through Bolass forces until the God-Eternals destroy it.