Some of the most substantial cards in Magic: the Gathering are planeswalkers.
So if you’re looking to build a competitive deck, or to even have a complete collection, you’ll need to consider adding some of them to your stash.
But which MTG sets have planeswalkers?
We’ll provide you a huge list to draw from, as well as some background information on these cards.
By the end of this article, you’ll understand:
- What planeswalkers are
- Which sets they come in
- Whether you should be adding them to your collection
What are Planeswalkers?
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
What exactly is a planeswalker?
The question isn’t so briefly answered, and can actually be defined a few different ways.
In the story behind the cards used in Magic: the Gathering, planeswalkers are powerful entities. There are multiple planes of existence in the game, and a planeswalker can traverse between them, basically traveling to alternate dimensions.
The second definition is literally you, as the player. Those partaking in a game of MTG are considered planeswalkers in the game.
Last, planeswalker is a type of card used in the game itself. They made their first appearance in the Lorwyn set, which came out in 2007.
The purpose of this guide will be to discuss the cards, so it is that we will provide further explanation on.
In a way, each planeswalker card is like another “player” under the control over the person who cast them. Opponents are able to attack your planeswalker cards directly.
Planeswalkers themselves can’t attack like creature cards. Rather, they have abilities that are activated by expending the loyalty counters they enter the battlefield with.
A famous example of a planeswalker card is Jace, the Mind Sculptor, pictured above. He is widely considered one of the most powerful (if not the most) planeswalker cards in the game.
MTG Sets with Planeswalkers
Now to return to the original question: Which MTG sets have planeswalkers?
Well, they’ve appeared in most sets since 2007. It is by no means a short list.
We’ve provided the majority of the sets below. We did not include special sets, promo cards, or planeswalker decks – our list focuses on core and expansion sets.
We did, however, include some of the “Masters” sets.
Without further ado, here is our list of MTG sets with planeswalkers:
- Lorwyn – This is the set where the practice of printing planeswalker cards began. It had a gorgeous Celtic-inspired theme, and included strong cards like Shriekmaw, which is still used a lot today.
- Core Set 2020 -Represented by Chandra, a fiery planeswalker, Core Set 2020 is a must-have for her fans. It also has a focus on tri-color cards which makes it good for building decks with three or more colors.
- Core Set 2019 – Lovers of dragons should consider Core Set 2020 for their collection. It focuses on the beginning of Nicol Bolas, the terrifying elder dragon, and his twin, Ugin.
- Core Set 2015 – This particular set was tied to the release of Duels of the Planeswalkers, an MTG video game that came out at approximately the same time. Many important figures helped design the cards for Core Set 2015, including the creator of Minecraft.
- Core Set 2014 – As anyone can tell just by looking at it, Core Set 2014 heavily centered around Chandra. Consider adding it to your personal library of cards if she’s one of your favorite planeswalkers.
- Core Set 2013 – You’ll find a handful of popular planeswalkers in this set. They include Ajani, Jace, Liliana, Chandra, and the nefarious Nicol Bolas.
- Core Set 2012 – The useful mechanic “hexproof” saw its birth in Core Set 2012, which protects a permanent from being targeted by the spells of opponents. It also includes several planeswalkers, such as Gideon and Sorin.
- Core Set 2011 – Artwork used in 2011’s core set featured a lot of the original five planeswalkers that initially came out in Lorwyn. In a way, this set indicated that the planeswalker type would only become more common the future.
- Core Set 2010 – M10, the core set for 2010, was literally a game changer. It was the first core set to come with planeswalkers at all, marking the shifting into a new era.
- Journey Into Nyx – Like others in its block, Journey Into Nyx is inspired by appealing Greek mythology. Heroes were pitted against terrifying gods, and accordingly there are a handful of heroic planeswalker cards in this set.
- War of the Spark – Because the story underlying War of the Spark was about planeswalkers making a last-ditch attempt to seal away Nicol Bolas, there’s a huge planeswalker presence in the set. In fact, you’re guaranteed to get one in every single booster pack.
- Aether Revolt – Predictably, the story beneath Aether Revolt is about an uprising taking place in Kaladesh. It utilizes vehicle and energy mechanics that allow creatures to function as a “crew” for vehicle cards.
- Shards of Alara – More innovation could be found in Shards of Alara. It features the earliest multi-color planeswalkers and the first mythic-level rare cards in the game.
- Rivals of Ixalan – Sets in this block have an unmistakable jungle feel. You’ll find intriguing tribes such as vampires, dinosaurs, pirates, and merfolk.
- Shadows Over Innistrad -Innistrad’s gothic and horror-filled visuals were a hit, and they’re returned with Shadows over Innistrad. Fans of horror should strongly consider adding it to their own collections.
- Theros Beyond Death – In Theros Beyond Death, players are able to return to the Greek mythology that was used in Theros and Journey into Nyx. Ancient and powerful gods are a staple in this set, as well as beautiful full-art constellation lands.
- Theros – Like some bands have concept albums, you can think of Theros as a concept set. It was built from Greek myth tropes which consisted of gods, heroes, and horrifying monsters – all of which you’ll see splashed throughout these cards.
- Zendikar – In addition to a brand-new planeswalker, Nissa, Zendikar also contains exquisite full-art lands. It’s a much-beloved set among seasoned Magic players.
- Dominaria – Legendary creatures are a central theme to Dominaria. As such, it’s a fantastic pick if you’re looking to greatly expand your pool of potential Commander cards in one fell swoop.
- Magic Origins – Those who are interested in Gideon, Jace, Chandra, and Liliana shouldn’t miss out on this set. It pays special attention to the origin stories of these four planeswalkers, and hints to their future involvement in the main story arc.
- Oath of the Gatewatch – As with others, Oath of the Gatewatch portrays a great battle. It also depicts the formation of the Gatewatch, a team of planeswalkers consisting of Gideon, Jace, Chandra, and Nissa, who vow to protect the multiverse from threats.
- Kaladesh – Especially rare and beautiful Masterpiece cards were brought to the Kaladesh set. Combined with the possibility of pulling a planeswalker, these Masterpiece cards make it a reasonable investment.
- Conspiracy – One of the things that made Conspiracy so fun was its focus on drafting. This set was specifically created to be drafted by anywhere from six to eight players, making it perfect for draft enthusiasts.
- Conspiracy: Take the Crown – You can think of Conspiracy: Take the Crown as a sort of sequel in spirit to Conspiracy. It also was built for drafting with up to eight players, using mechanics that affect the draft itself.
- Eternal Masters – Masters sets, like Eternal Masters, are particularly prized because they combine some of Magic’s strongest cards into one set. They also tend to lead to a particularly fun draft, as you can anticipate the majority of the cards will be useful.
- Ravnica Allegiance – With Ravnica Allegiance, you’ll discover a ton of support for five guilds: Azorius, Rakdos, Gruul, Orzhov, and Simic. As such, it’s a wise pick for expanding your multi-colored card collection.
- Modern Masters 2017 – If you’re looking for a high-powered draft, you can’t go wrong with Modern Masters 2017. It’s a Masters set, so it contains particularly strong cards, but it was also created to be drafted with your friends.
- Gatecrash – Those looking to build a strong base of multi-color support in their collection should consider Gatecrash. It has cards that center around Boros, Dimir, Gruul, Orzhov, and Simic guilds.
- Scars of Mirrodin – As Mirrodin was the metal plane, golems and artifact creatures called Myr make a strong appearance in this set. It also has a lot of elves, vampires, cats, and humans, in addition to planeswalkers.
- Throne of Eldraine – This set draws its inspiration largely from old Grimm fairytales. Cards like Once Upon a Time give the entire set a fantastic, deep, and magical feel that’s true to the name of Magic: the Gathering.
- Innistrad – Released in 2011, Innistrad was the first-ever set to dive into the world of horror that was the plane of Innistrad. Werewolves, zombies, and vampires have a massive influence on the set, and it was immensely popular among horror lovers.
- Battle for Zendikar – A land-focused set, Battle for Zendikar gives owners the potential for pulling stunning full-art lands. These lands are actually the early predecessors to coveted and valuable Masterpiece cards.
- Rise of the Eldrazi – As you might imagine, Rise of the Eldrazi chronicled the horrific colorless Eldrazi, monsters that were originally from between the planes. There are an abundance of crazily strong Eldrazi cards in this set, which made it a hit with fans.
- Amonkhet – Like the plane after which it is named, Amonkhet was obviously inspired by Egyptian mythology. It was designed with the mood and flavor of the cards in mind before mechanics, and was created to make players feel in some ways as uneasy as the characters on the cards themselves.
- Ixalan – Just like the ship’s wheel that its symbol is shaped like, Ixalan is a set about exploration. It has interesting tribes of creatures, such as vampires, pirates, dinosaurs, and merfolk.
- Return to Ravnica – You can’t go wrong with Return to Ravnica if what you’re searching for is a way to add a lot of dual-color cards to your collection. It also gives you the potential of drawing a rare and expensive shock land.
- Masters 25 – Masters 25 came out in 2018, and had a much more broad scope than most other sets. It reprinted particularly strong cards from all of MTG’s history up until that point, and wasn’t made for any specific format.
- Worldwake – Most Magic players remember Worldwake, and with good reason. Aside from having a handful of legendary cards, one of the strongest planeswalkers in the game came from this one: Jace, the Mind Sculptor.
- New Phyrexia – The clash of the Mirrans and Phyrexians was the muse for New Phyrexia. The five praetors, high-ranking Phyrexians of each mana color, are in this set, and they are still extremely sought-after cards today.
- Ultimate Masters – You can imagine Ultimate Masters as a sort of culmination of the Masters sets. On top of being an overall strong set, each booster box came with a rare box topper card.
- Born of the Gods – Since it was part of the Theros block, Born of the Gods adhered to the same Greek tales that you find in Theros Beyond Death or Theros. Expect more of the popular gods, heroes, and monster artwork here.
- Eldritch Moon – Lovecraft enthusiasts should rejoice when it comes to Eldritch Moon. This set draws themes from popular Lovecraftian horror, featuring incomprehensible Eldrazi monsters, horrific werewolves, and creepy zombies alike.
- Dragons of Tarkir – If the Scourge set could have been called “the dragon set,” then Dragons of Tarkir was even more so. Those who love dragons and draconic imagery should definitely consider this set.
- Hour of Devastation – Amonkhet and Hour of Devastation are from the same block, so both fall under a heavy Egyptian influence. One difference, however, is that you’ll see a lot of the planeswalker Nicol Bolas in this set, and the set symbol is even a graphic of his horns.
- Conflux – The same block that introduced prized mythic cards is where Conflux comes from. Some very strong cards came from this older set, such as Maelstrom Archangel and Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker.
- Guilds of Ravnica – True to its Ravnica name, Guilds of Ravnica’s focus was on five guilds: Dimir, Selesnya, Izzet, Golgari, and Boros. As such, it’s a smart pick for anyone who wants to build their multi-color options.
- Dragon’s Maze – Unlike other sets that focused on guilds, Dragon’s Maze features all ten of the two-color guilds. For that reason, it’s a little lower in power than other sets, but it’s also consequently very affordable.
- Battlebond – The thing that made Battlebond especially unique was its focus on two-headed giant games. Because of certain mechanics in the cards, this was a wonderful set for drafts where people played in two-member teams rather than free-for-alls.
- Khans of Tarkir – Similar to Dominaria, Khans of Tarkir was great for legendary creatures, adding a few candidates for Commander decks, such as Anafenza, the Foremost. You also have the potential of pulling valuable fetch lands from each pack.
- Modern Horizons – Designed for use in the Modern format, Modern Horizons took popular mechanics throughout the lifespan of Magic and brought them to one set. Additionally, you could possibly get full-art snow-covered lands from its packs.
- Dark Ascension – One thing Dark Ascension did well was expanding the pool of viable Commanders for fans of tribes. Werewolves, spirits, zombies, and vampires also all get tribal lords in this set.
- Avacyn Restored – The story of Avacyn Restored followed the release of the angel, Avacyn, from her prison. Accordingly, there are mechanics in the set that reflect this divine theme, such as Miracle, which allowed players to cast cards at a reduced cost.
- Mirrodin Besieged – As with others in the Mirrodin block, Mirrodin Besieged features a ton of artifacts. It was also the birthplace of Inkmoth Nexus, a card used in many infect decks.
- Fate Reforged – The main theme of Fate Reforged is choice. Some of the cards in the set have you choose between two abilities, labeled either “Khans” or “Dragons” based on which ability you need more at the time.
- Unstable – Since it’s an “Un-set,” Unstable can’t really be used in official events and tournaments. The planeswalker in this set, Urza, Academy Headmaster, was meant as a parody.
There you have it – a list of sets with planeswalkers.
While this is by no means a comprehensive list, you’ll find the majority of those containing planeswalkers here. Please note that the list is current as of January 2020, and that sets containing planeswalkers will continue to be added as time goes on.
So should you add planeswalkers to your own decks? Truthfully, it depends on how you like to play the game.
Multiple planeswalkers can be overwhelming for beginners, especially since they each have loyalty abilities you can activate on your turn.
But “super friends” decks, which center on using as many planeswalkers as possible, are extremely powerful and viable decks in the right hands.