Magic: The Gathering publisher Wizards of the Coast have announced the death of planeswalker Jaya Ballard the old-fashioned way – by releasing a newspaper obituary in the ‘announcements’ section of the Seattle Times. Wizards has also asked fans to press F to pay respects on a new In Memoriam: Jaya Ballard website. Doing so will toss a white rose in honour of the fallen pyromancer.
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of the planeswalker Jaya Ballard – hero, guardian, teacher, and fiery defender of Dominaria”, says the obituary from August 16. “She lost her life when her fellow planeswalker, Ajani, was revealed as a compleated sleeper agent of Dominaria’s long-time foes, the Phyrexians”, it adds. “Jaya’s flame burns on through her friends, and the many, many individuals she fought for and saved. The fight is not yet over, but Jaya Ballard’s flame burns eternal.”
The obituary directs Jaya’s mourners to a digital leaflet detailing Jaya’s funeral. The guestlist includes plenty of other planeswalkers – Chandra, Teferi, Jodah, and others are invited to Jaya’s funeral. You’re also invited to pay your respects with a ‘pay respects’ button that leaves a rose on-screen (though, as we said, pressing F to pay your respects works just as well).
These grand gestures in Jaya’s honour also happen to be advertising a new set and Secret Lair. Jaya’s death is part of the ongoing Dominaria United story, which is being published in instalments on the MTG website ahead of the set’s release date on September 9. The ‘In Memoriam: Jaya Ballard’ Secret Lair set was also announced on August 22, and it’s currently available for pre-order.