Return to Alara Speculation

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Posted on Dec. 20, 2016, 3:42 p.m. by DemonDragonJ

Currently, WotC has no plans to return to Alara, but Mark Rosewater has ranked it low (a 4 out of 10) on his "Rabiah Scale," so I believe that it certainly is plausible that there shall eventually be another block set on that plane.

Therefore, I wish to speculate about what may happen if WotC were ever to return to Alara.

First, how can the storyline be continued? I was not closely following the story of the Alara block, but it seems to me that it ended fairly conclusively, so I hope that there is a way to have a new story set on Alara without having its conflict seem forced or contrived. I also really hope that there would not be a need to have the Gatewatch be involved, since they were not involved in the original block, and it will be annoying to have them involved in practically every block.

Second, and most importantly, if there was to be a return to Alara, would the set still have a strong focus on three-colored cards? Obviously, since the original block had a strong focus on multicolored cards, a future block on that plane would, as well, but I worry that a new block would focus more on two-colored cards, which appear extremely frequently in this game, rather than three-colored cards, which appear far less frequently, especially since its shards have reunited.

What does everyone else say about this? What could possibly happen in a return to Alara? How could the story be continued, and would there still be a focus on three-colored cards?

Pieguy396 says... #2

I'd say that any possible return to Alara would probably look like the Scars of Mirrodin or Invasion stories, where some villain (Phyrexia, Bolas, or somebody/something we haven't seen yet) tries to take over Alara for whatever reason, and all of the different colors of Alara, plus a couple representatives from the Gatewatch, have to come together to fight off their shared foe. There would probably be a strong 5-color matters theme, though I don't see a return to 3-color cards being that likely, at least in the first return.

December 20, 2016 4:18 p.m.

metalmagic says... #3

I do feel like tri-colored cards would still be a strong theme, but multicolored cards in general would likely be dominant. As far as lore goes, I could see the plot going something like this:

  • Everyone is fairly used to life with the other shards all being on one plane now, and inter-shardal governments and policies would be springing up, causing the usual stuff governing large bodies normally does.
  • The borders of the shards still have small factions warring over their dislike for the other, or maybe just for land. This could lead to some big war between one or more of the original shards.
  • Much like how Lorwyn/Shadowmoor undergoes the Great Aurora every so often that completely changes the plane, an inverse Conflux might start to take place, threatening to separate the now whole plane of Alara into the 5 Shards it previously was.
  • Under this new threat, recognized by some of the more prominent figures of each Shard such as Rafiq and Marisi, the whole plane needs to come up with some way (a powerful spell) to prevent this from happening so their way of life doesn't deteriorate again, but undoubtedly there are plenty of beings who would want to prevent this for one reason or another.
  • Regardless of if the plane reverts to shards or not, I feel like this might spur, if it hadn't already, research among Esper mages for portals to other worlds, much like is kind of happening on Kaladesh currently, and this could be a good point for Tezzeret to return to his birthplace. He could easily take over the Seekers of Carmot if they are still a faction and probably get much more use out of them than the inventors on Kaladesh, and potentially fulfill his goal of making inter-planar portals. (We haven't seen if he can operate Rashmi's portal without her yet and what the state of it is, so I'm assuming he can't for the sake of this.)
  • I'm not really sure where it could go after this, but definitely something involving Bolas.

Those are my thoughts on what a very basic storyline could look like for a return block to Alara.

December 20, 2016 5:31 p.m.

Pieguy396 says... #4

metalmagic yeah I could definitely see Aether Revolt ending with Tezzeret planeswalking/using Rashmi's portals to get back to Esper/Alara, and then once Bolas gets defeated(?) on Amonkhet, he returns to Alara as well, and that's what the fall 2017 set is

December 20, 2016 6:17 p.m.

Bovine073 says... #5

One problem with a return is that (I think?) wizards has tabooed hybrid mana costs recently.

December 21, 2016 4:16 a.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #6

Pieguy396, I would prefer that there be a completely new villain for a return to Alara, since Bolas was already involved in the original block and it would be lazy writing to have Phyrexia invade every other plane in the multiverse, or, if a previous antagonist is to return, I would like to see Ob Nixilis be involved, since he has had only a minor role, thus far.

Bovine073, what evidence is there that WotC has done that, and, if so, why? What is wrong with hybrid mana?

December 21, 2016 10:59 a.m.

Bovine073 says... #7

DemonDragonJ that's what I have heard... around.

After doing some further research, it may not be the case.

December 21, 2016 11:10 a.m.

This discussion has been closed