Mark Rosewater on Eldrazi, Slivers, and Phyrexian Invasions?

Spoilers, Rumors, and Speculation forum

Posted on Jan. 1, 2019, 6:50 p.m. by TypicalTimmy

So, to the best of my knowledge Rosewater's stance on each of the following is:

  • Eldrazi are done for the foreseeable future. There may be a story down the years in which Emrakul breaks free / is released from the Silver Moon on Innistrad, but overall their arc is done.

  • Slivers are generally considered too over powered and would need to be dramatically nerf'd if returned. They would most likely not resurface in a Standard format. More so a Duel Decks / EDH tribal setting.

  • New Phyrexia and it's story has been concluded for a very long time now and there is no reason to return, nor are there any plans to bring back Infect because of how horribly unbalanced it was as an alternate win condition.


The reason this thread exists is because my roommate is 100% persistent on the idea that not only are all three coming back, but that Rosewater has recently been publicly been announcing and talking of these. When I ask my roommate where any of this information is coming from, he says it's on his Twitter account, but refuses to cite the actual posts. He also claims there are numerous Reddit threads in which Rosewater himself discusses these possibilities, again with no citation.

My roommate further goes on to blow up about how the 3rd installment of the Return to the Return of Ravnica will not actually feature Nicol Bolas, but will feature a "Phyrexian invasion".

When I brought up how that makes no sense given what they have been building up to, he gets really angry and lashes out at me.

So, I'm asking: What is my roommate talking about??

Am I just living under the world's biggest rock and completely missed all of these massive details? Or is my roommate just an idiot who's talking out of his ass?

Hexaflexagon says... #2

Don't worry, your roommate is just an idiot who's talking out of his ass, to quote you. My good friend Nicol Bolas will come to Ravnica and destroy everything!


Oops, maybe I shouldn't have said that. Lord Nicol Bolas might now kill me with everything.

January 1, 2019 9:21 p.m.

ERoss8 says... #3

They aren’t even hiding the huge Bolas v. Gatewatch throwdown in Ravnica 3. If they haven’t come out and said it (which they might have, I’m not sure), it’s as close to official as you can get. No Phyrexians there!

Currently, the Eldrazi are finished. Two have been killed, and the other content with imprisonment on Innistrad’s moon. Highly unlikely that they do anything with them anytime soon.

Slivers (I believe) are indigenous to Rath. They first made an appearance in Tempest block, which is set on Rath. They came to Dominaria during the Invasion, and are connected to the Riptide project, as seen in Blade Sliver. Since then, they have appeared in Core Sets (and Time Spiral, but... Time Spiral), making me think that they aren’t currently a major villain, and Wizards isn’t considering them as a major player. They are also confined to Dominaria, and we just went back with none appearing, so there’s that.

And then Phyrexia. Phyrexia under Yawgmoth is dead, and has been for years. With Scars of Mirrodin, a new breed of Phyrexians was created/was there all along. The story leaves off with the Phyrexians taking over most of the plane, and only a few remain fighting them, including Koth of the Hammer. It appears that they’re story on Mirrodin is over, considering they’ve basically won, but that doesn’t mean they are. According to Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite’s flavor text, they are aware of other planes, and want to “convert” them to. In addition, in the Dominaria story, Karn digs up the Golgothian Sylex (I think?) to blow the plane of New Phyrexia to hell. So not only can the story be taken different ways, Wizards acknowledges their presence as a current threat, unlike say Tibalt.

Ultimately, I’d say that the Eldrazi and Slivers are unlikely to be touched (unless in a supplemental set, as was mentioned), but it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Phyrexians as the next big baddie after Bolas is triumphant or defeated in the last Ravnica set.

External (non-lore wise) motivation may come from popularity. I’m not sure of exact numbers or what have you, although they exist (see: Maro’s Storm scale and Rabiah scale articles I’m to lazy to look up), but Scars block was fairly popular, and ultimately, the fan base voted for the Phyrexians to win. Infect is a very parasitic and problematic mechanic, so it’s unlikely that it’d come back, but there is much more they can do there that they could bring the Phyrexians back with it returning.

January 1, 2019 10:44 p.m.

If you go to Mark’s blogatog on tumblr a couple days back he talked about doing a play test that had slivers in it and back around dominaria when people complained about no slivers he had said they are in the seven year plan.

I don’t have any confirmation on the other two “villains” but I do remember him writing something about a world where the phyrexia s have won wouldn’t be that great a set, that the player base prefers the phyrexians invading. I don’t have links for anything so sorry about that.

January 1, 2019 10:46 p.m.

dbpunk says... #5

I think that slivers are in the seven year plan (at least from my memory of seeing it on blogatog) and new phyrexians may return but Eldrazis are definitely done. After SOI, everyone was pretty done with them.

January 1, 2019 11:45 p.m.

Coward_Token says... #6

Eldrazi: Eldricht Moon was little over two years ago so you're probably right.

Slivers: http://markrosewater.tumblr.com/post/163836776548/the-only-thing-im-hoping-for-is-real-slivers

http://markrosewater.tumblr.com/post/181438187783/did-you-and-your-team-finished-testing-the-new-set

New Phyrexia: Karn's entire subplot in the Dominaria story revolved around him wanting to nuke them, so I think we can expect them to show up in some set after this current pseudo-block. Koth & Melira, Sylvok Outcast are still alive and kicking on The Plane Previously Known As Mirrodin (TPPKAM) too.

But yes, it would be weird if anybody but Bolas would be the villain of the Milk set.

January 2, 2019 3:30 p.m.

Snap157 says... #7

Slivers are a 4 on the beeble scale, meaning "Level 4: Will most likely do again, but they have issues that make them less of a guarantee" Maro has stated on Blogatog that he doesn't like them in a standard environment, but players love them so they will definitely appear again.

As for emrakul, I believe that eldrazi will return. Being trapped in the moon is a temporary solution, and until all three titans are dead, I think they will reappear year down the road.

I'm positive that we will also see new phyrexia again as well, due to the heavy foreshadowing provided in the story by karn about how he plans on blowing it up. I think that because it's a fan favorite, we will see it again, possibly in 2019

January 2, 2019 6:03 p.m.

SaltySpecula says... #8

http://markrosewater.tumblr.com/post/181438187783/did-you-and-your-team-finished-testing-the-new-set

As a Sliver player, this made me let an a rather loud https://youtu.be/fvtQYsckLxk?t=65

Looking forward to the collective groans at standard FNM and Commander nights when the new-bois hit the table.

January 3, 2019 5:29 p.m.

Argy says... #9

No one can play Slivers at my LGS unless they enjoy playing Archenemy.

I have been banned from using Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger in Frontier Brawl by my play group.

Infect in Commander really does need to be looked at.

January 18, 2019 10:17 a.m.

coltron518 says... #10

can you give a citation of rosewater stating that slivers are "too overpowered"? seems like a rather silly statement for him to make considering that there are no sliver decks putting up any results in tournaments.

January 22, 2019 8:15 p.m.

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