Predictions for a Third Zendikar Block

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Posted on April 14, 2018, 11:11 p.m. by DemonDragonJ

It is very likely that there shall be a third Zendikar block at some point in the future, as that plane is very popular with the players, so I wish to predict what may happen in such a block.

Mark Rosewater has said that, with the battle against the eldrazi concluded, WotC wishes to return to the "adventure world" aesthetic of the first Zendikar block, which is an admirable goal, but I believe that there is only so much than can be done with such a theme before the designers run out of ideas. I personally believe that a third Zendikar block would focus on repairing the damage inflicted to the plane by battle against the eldrazi, with Nissa as the main character who is helping the plane to recover.

I also think that such a block would be an ideal time for Nahiri to return, so that she will see that Zendikar has not been destroyed, and possibly relinquish her anger at Sorin.

Obviously, the landfall mechanic will return, along with many excellent lands to take advantage of it, and I would really like to see enemy-colored versions of the "battle lands" (Canopy Vista, Sunken Hollow, and so forth).

What does everyone else say about this? What are your predictions for a third Zendikar block?

Arvail says... #2

I personally think Ixalan, particularly Rivals, executed well on the whole adventure world concept already. It's definitely something I don't think is too tired to revisit in the future. The issue with taking the whole healing Zendikar approach right now is that we're entering a healing Dominaria right now. Yes, trouble's brewing, but the world is so much more alive than when we last saw it. Returning to Zendikar with this theme would overlap too much. Plus there are Bolas' schemes to deal with, etc. We're also having constant Return sets atm. and I think I'd rather just see new planes for a while. We'll go back to Zendikar at some point, but I don't think now is the time. With how terrible the last visit to the plane went, it needs to be done properly.

April 14, 2018 11:39 p.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #3

It seems to me that Wizards wants to go into a deep and rich world-building scope. Obviously this is the case. Their entire universe is now based on the threat Bolas brings, and his plans to dominate the multiverse.

Let's first ask what we know, then we can focus on what we don't know.

We know Bolas wanted the Lazotep (that right?) For his eternal army. I read somewhere that this substance can survive the blind eternities? So now he has an army that can traverse the multiverse.

Next, he wanted the immortal sun. This way he can trap an entire plane under his thumb. This means nobody can escape.

He could clearly wage a siege one by one. But he's not done. He wants Ravnica. Why?

He most likely wants the guild pact. I've read that he wants to control all five colors. If this is true, I suspect his upcoming siege against Ravnica will be to take down the guilds, get the guild pact (unsure if he knows it's Jace) and possibly even reopen whatever the threat is in the labyrinth under the city. You know, go there to get the pact and acquire it by unleashing an ancient and foreboding power on the world.

(If I were writing the story, I'd have Dimir and Rakdos pair up with Bolas. Gives us the Grixis colors. Dimir wants information and leverage, Rakdos wants bloodshed. This leaves the rest to either pair up or be extinguished. I'd see Orzhov and Azorius team up, giving us Esper. This gives us two guilds hell-bent on control. Izzet would probably struggle and be broken down as it can't decide between careless power and reckless control. We might see Simic pair with them. The Izzet's mind and Simics power balance out. This gives us Temur. Idk what Boros would do, but maybe pair up with Selesnya to form Naya. Last would be Gruul, who if the story holds true, Jace would recruit as a last-ditch effort to protect the world. If Jace and Vraska pair up like they hinted at in RIX, Golgari may side with Gruul, giving us Jund.)

(side note: Bolas knows he sent Vraska to Ixalan. Bolas also knows he sent Jace there. If Vraska was able to leave, he knows that Jace can, too. So when Bolas meets with Vraska, and sees that Vraska has no memory of Jace, it tips him off that Vraska betrayed him. That is to say, if Vraska has "no memory" of it, it is because her mind was wiped.)

Oh, also I suspect we will see an Oath of Vraska at some point.

Anyway, back on topic. If Bolas' plan is to control all five colors, have an eternal and immortal army that can survive the blind eternities, and trap entire world's as he lays siege to them, we can FINALLY ask what's in store for Zendikar.

And honestly, ... Nothing.

Zendikar has two main things going for it. The Roil, which is in part why the Eldrazi are attracted to it so much. The Roil is Zendikar's energy that constantly reshapes the landscape. This doesn't help Bolas.

There are also The Hedrons. But with the powers Bolas is already collecting, and with his general power and mastery over his Mana, I can't see the Hedrons really even helping him or being worth his time.

We may see another one-set block just as a patch-over, but the only "realistic" thing I can see would be this:

Gideon, Jace, Nissa, Chandra and the rest (no telling what Liliana will do at this point) wish to trap Bolas. So they purposely lead him to Zendikar, forcing him to follow with his army. He uses the immortal sun to trap everyone there. What Bolas doesn't know is that Zendikar has seen war before. Twice. The clans know how to ally with one another.

So Gideon and the rest raise their own army and we see Bolas vs Ally's and they use his immortal sun against him.

With a constantly changing landscape, Bolas is at a disadvantage because he can't plan around that. That's how you defeat Bolas. Force him into a situation he can not plan for. Not sure if that would be the "end" of him. We would probably see the immortal sun destroyed, perhaps even by Bolas so he can flee and take a loss on this one.

That's my speculation. Zendikar would be home to the official war against Bolas and his army.

April 15, 2018 5:33 a.m.

Phaetion says... #4

Catalog9000:

Actually, it was Ugin who sent Jace to Ixalan. It was a sneaky fail-safe spell placed on Jace's memory of him should Ugin's existence be discovered. It's as though he foresaw Bolas trying to crush Jace's mind. So it was confirmed that Bolas had no idea that Jace pulled the puppet strings in Ixalan, so to speak.

Anyway, as for the real topic: It's too soon. Not only were the reasons outlined, but we had BFZ back in 2015/2016. Theros would be more likely at this point. Give it a few years, then we just may see Zendikar again.

April 15, 2018 9:35 a.m.

pskinn01 says... #5

Its been said most sets will be one and done sets. Block structure is gone. Ixalan was to be last block. It was said only some planes would be spread over more than on set. I think that this will make some new mechanics weaker as they will lack the number of cards to make viable in anything but standard. But they did say some planes would over lap, where one mechanic would either repeat in next plane, or would at least have mechanics/features that worked together in different sets.

I think Ajani will go to theros to get Elspeth from the underworld. To have her help against Bolas.

But Zendikar will prob either only show up when they go get Nissa, or when the final fight with Bolas happens.

April 15, 2018 10:41 a.m.

dbpunk says... #6

Honestly I think were gonna get something like Return to Tarkir before Zendikar 3. Or like Return to Kamigawa.

April 15, 2018 10:42 a.m.

Phaetion says... #7

pskinn01: Except I speculate the final fight is on Ravnica. Everything's pointing to it, and In Bolas's Clutches, with Liliana being one of the main 'walkers, means that Bolas will meet his end soon.

Also, we'll probably see Nissa rejoin the Watch before we return to Zendikar. But as the focus of the lore then? Sure.

April 15, 2018 10:54 a.m.

VexenX says... #8

dbpunk: I 100% agree with you about Tarkir being more likely. The Gatewatch might want to recruit the three powerhouse Planeswalkers there.

However I think it is even more convincing when you look at Wizard's pattern following last year's Commander products. Amonkhet had a ton of cats, Ixalan has a ton of Vampires, then Dominaria has a ton of wizards! That leaves us with dragons! Plus it would give them a good opportunity to reprint the other 5 fetchlands in a standard product, making modern more accessable. What are your thoughts?

April 15, 2018 2:16 p.m.

Nillstan says... #9

According to lore, only two of the titans were destroyed. Tamiyo imprisoned the third, Emrakul, in the moon. Emrakul said that she wasn't ready to play yet and went willingly.

You can kinda see where I'm going with this. Emrakul returns and wrecks face and they have to figure out how to kill her. Its bring many new eldrazi and other stuff, and maybe Emrakul will resurrect the other titans as slaves. I'd enjoy seeing three more titan cards. I think that would be a cool way to finish out Zendikar.

Or, even more scarily, the return of annihilator.

April 15, 2018 2:18 p.m. Edited.

OneItsStarted says... #10

I would seriously doubt that there would be a return to Zendikar in the near future. The Battle For Zendikar block was horribly done and caused many problems in multiple formats to the point that Mark Rosewater listed it as the set he would most like to remove from Magic's history. This poor reception, combined with the block being followed by another poorly executed return set (Innistrad), makes it very unlikely that Wizard's will make a lot more return sets and especially not one to Zendikar.

April 16, 2018 10:21 a.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #11

OneItsStarted, I am sorry that I need to ask, but what are some specific problems that the Battle for Zendikar block had?

April 16, 2018 10:02 p.m.

meatsmith says... #12

3rd Zendikar block = gross.

April 17, 2018 11:47 a.m.

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