The Worlds of MTG: Who is Elspeth? | EarlyGame
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The Worlds of MTG: Who is Elspeth?

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The Worlds of MTG New Set Elspeth
Image credit: Wizards of the Coast

Elspeth Tirel is the face of the new Magic set and a powerful Planeswalker card in it, but what do we actually know about her past, present and future?

Elspeth Tirel is the face of the new Magic set and a powerful Planeswalker card in it, but what do we actually know about her past, present and future?

While not part of the Gatewatch, Elspeth is definitely one of Magic’s most beloved Planeswalkers and a long-time fan favorite. She is mostly White-affiliated mage and a true soldier fighting for peace and justice. However, she also has a dark past, many secrets, and a dubious future.

Elspeth is a human with unknown origin. We know she’s from one of the worlds enslaved by the Phyrexians, one of Magic’s most feared and dreadful races of monstrous creatures. As a little child, she was kept a prisoner and tortured by the evil creatures, to the point of her spark igniting and she planeswalking away to the plane of Theros. There she saw to gods – Heliod and Perpheros fighting and managed to steal the latter’s own sword.

Looking for peace, she planeswalked away to Bant, one of the shards of the plane Alara. Bant is a calm and tranquil shard made only of white, blue and green mana. There, she met a band of knights and started serving as a squire first, but soon became knighted - and at an unprecedentedly young age, too. During this time, she met Ajani Goldmane, a loyal friend, who later joined the Gatewatch.

The Worlds of MTG: Who is Elspeth - Elspeth and Ajani
Elspeth and Ajani (Image credit: Wizards of the Coast)

Peace wasn’t in the cards for Elspeth, though. During the Conflux, a cataclysmic event on Alara, she defended Bant and slew many enemies. Ashamed of her deeds, she rejected her knighthood and planeswalked away to Mirrodin.

There, the young warrior faced the Phyrexians again and joined the resistance against their rule. With her new planeswalker friend Koth of the Hammer, she designed a spellbomb meant to destroy all notable Phyrexian leaders at once and win the war, but her plans ultimately failed and Mirrodin fell to the invasion of evil.

Driven by despair and longing for peace, she found herself on Theros again, where she became champion of Heliod, God of the Sun. He transformed her sword into a spear fit for slaying gods, which she used to strike down Xenagos, a planeswalker ascended to godhood and a nemesis to Heliod.

When Elspeth returned triumphantly, Heliod did not rejoice. On the contrary, he got mad with jealousy and saw his champion not as an ally, but as a potential threat to his own life. That’s why he took her life and sent her down in the Underworld.

The Worlds of MTG: Who is Elspeth - Elspeth
Elspeth removing her burial on her way back to the living (Image credit: Wizards of the Coast)

This is when the story of Theros Beyond Death begins. What adventures will Elspeth embark on, will she escape Erebos’ realm and what will she chose to make peace with the Sun god, or take vengeance? All these questions will be answered at the end of January when the new set is released.