Magic: the Gathering publisher Wizards of the Coast has revealed that the planeswalker known only as The Wanderer, a cryptic character first introduced in 2019’s War of the Spark set, has a new card in the upcoming Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty set. Her identity has also been revealed: she’s Kamigawa’s emperor, and it seems she’ll be central to the storyline of Neon Dynasty, which launches February 18, 2022.
A piece of fiction published on Wizards’ official website on Tuesday had already served as strong evidence that – as one character in the story exclaims – “The Wanderer and the emperor are one and the same”. Wizards confirmed this detail in its ‘Light it Up with Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty’ livestream on Thursday – and unveiled her new planeswalker card.
The Wandering Emperor card reveals The Wanderer’s face, obscured in all previous artwork, but not her name. It’s a white planeswalker card costing four mana, with three starting loyalty and three loyalty abilities. The first ability provides a minor buff to a creature, while the second creates a 2/2 samurai token. Her final power exiles a creature, similar to The Wanderer card in War of the Spark.
More unusually, The Wandering Emperor is the first planeswalker to receive the Flash ability, meaning you can play her whenever you could cast an Instant spell (such as another player’s turn). Her abilities can also be used at Instant speed on the turn you play her.
On the Light it Up livestream, MTG worldbuilding design manager Meris Mullaley explained that The Wandering Emperor is missing at the start of Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, after an attack by the planeswalker villain Tezzeret leads her planeswalker spark to ignite.
Answering a fan’s question on his blog on Wednesday, MTG head designer Mark Rosewater revealed that: “We did not know we were returning to Kamigawa when we made War of the Spark”. This perhaps suggests that The Wanderer’s identity was not set in stone when the character was first introduced.
With the release date fast approaching, be sure to check out our Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty guide for up to date information on the set’s cards and mechanics. You can also get the lowdown on all the year’s upcoming MTG sets with our guide to the Magic: the Gathering 2022 release schedule.