Speculation and article by BDC

Well, I can’t tell you the last time I’ve had this much interest in a MTG storyline.  I’m a writer and, as a part of that, a story guy, so watching this play out has been exciting.  I simply ask Wotc to PLEASE keep up the good work.  I want a BIG Vikings story in the next set.  BUT, I digress.

Looking back at all of my speculation and reading yours, this story could have played out in any number of ways.  The finish would have to do with the LITHOCORE ending up in the hands of one of three people.

All rights Wizards of the Coast


From the beginning, in the teaser trailer, Nahiri was set up as the main choice to get to the bottom of all of this and end up with the power to transform Zendikar in the palm of her hand.  She’s the eldest planeswalker here and remembers the time before the Eldrazis.  As we wax nostalgic on our childhood and the Pollyanna world we thought we lived in, she sees Zendikar before the entrance of the Titans as a paradise and she’s not far from it. 

I still say what’s left of history on Zendikar paints the Kor as dictators that oppressed all other races under their feet.  The Lithocore was the engine that powered their cities and raised them to the sky.  So, of course, I saw the core as an instrument of that oppression and, in accordance, bad for Zendikar.

Anyway, there were only a few ways this story would end if Nahiri got her hands on the Lithocore and learned to use or tried to use it.


She uses her lithomancy to activate the core tapping into the power of Zendikar itself to return  it to its former glory.  Everyone lives in harmony and lives happily ever after


She uses her lithomancy, the Core applifies her power (much like it seemed through the whole story) and unleashed a blight upon Zendikar.  This would probably set the different peoples against each other aka World War Zendikar.

Art by Cristi-Balanescu-for the card-Taunting-Arbormage


We’ve been cheering on Nissa from the beginning.  We knew however it ended up, if Nahiri used the core, her determination, rage and guilt would probably eat up Zendikar much like it was eating her.  So, Nissa was the easy good guy, right?  But we come back to the mystery of the core.  Was it a weapon or an antidote to the brokenness of Zendikar?  Nissa has been almost assured to destroy the Core if she got her hands on it.  She watched elementals die by it and that was enough for her.


Nissa gets her hands on the Core and destroys it.  Saving the day.  Party at Seagate (Pun intented).


Nissa gets the Core and unleashes it’s power either by destroying or using it.  Blight and damnation for all.

Art by Tyler Jacobson for JACE, THE MIRROR MAGE


The wild card was always Jace.  He has tried to listen and care throughout the whole story.  But, no matter how hard he tried, the vision of Nicol Bolas coming back will always drown out everything else.


Jace takes the core and planeswalks back to Ravnica; unleashing an unholy blight upon the world city.


Jace takes the core, planeswalks back to Ravnica and studies it.  Cracking that thing open will only lead to three endings: Blight, nothing or an answer to Bolas.

ART by Ekaterina Burmak for AKIRI, FEARLESS VOYAGER

Wildcard: AKIRI

The absolute wildcard in the whole story was Akiri and her crew.  She watched the rogue die and, if you ask me, wouldn’t be about to let it go.  I fully expected to see Akiri swing in and either kill Nahiri ending it or swiping the Core and we’re back to either BLIGHT, Destruction of the Core or the salvation of Zendikar. 


Ok, I was both pleased, elated and, yet, a bit disappointed all at the same time.  As a writer, I am used to the story being what the story is.  There’s no changing that.  But, luckily, there were surprises galore.


The core changed hands many times.  Nahiri had it most of the time and at the beginning of the story.  Jace was able to swipe it, but, after a bout of megalomania, decided to take it back to Nissa and try and convince her to go back with him and the Core to Ravnica.

Jace did just that, but Nissa’s power and the elementals of Zendikar were just too much.  Once the Core was in Nissa’s hands, she had a decision to make.  Destroy the Core like she had planned from the very beginning or not.

Art by Colen Boyer for LITHOCORE ENGINE

The WILDCARD I didn’t expect was the Core itself.  It spoke to Nissa.  Yes, SPOKE.  Not only did it speak, it claimed to be one with Zendikar!  Now, this was a surprise.  There wasn’t a lot of clarification about this, but however this artifact came into being or came to be in the hands of the Kor, it convinced Nissa to allow it to flow its power through her. 

What we got from all of this was the happy ending we needed.  Nahiri looses her bid to set off the Lithocore and thank goodness.  Jace comes to his senses and looses it to Nissa.  And the true guardian of Zendikar used it to restore the damage done by its destruction. 

From the very beginning, my compadre, PANDA, said that the Lithocore was amplifying Nahiri’s power.  And, without anymore info, it seems he may be right.  Because once Nissa let it do what it wanted it seemed to, yes, go off like a bomb and destroy the Singing City and all the forest around it, but almost immediate and at the ‘speed of magic’ begin to restore what had be destroyed.  One can only hope that the effect will continue to heal all of Zendikar.

The big mystery is Zendikar itself.  It speaks through the Lithocore; meaning it could possibly be an artifact of ancient origin (maybe even before Nahiri was born).  I really don’t believe the Kor built it, but cause they were all about caging it in the engine and running their cities.  Nothing about this story tells us that Zendikar and the Kor worked together.  But I may be surprised.

I’m also surprised that Akiri didn’t show up at the end and, at least, factor into the ending.  I don’t think Nahiri and Akiri are done by a long shot.

Looking forward to more lore from MTG and I really hope we’re not done with this story.

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