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Igniting (also "triggering", "flaring" or "ascension") refers to the spark's ignition, that is the process by which a sapient creature activates their latent spark and thus becomes a planeswalker.

Ascension[ | ]

In Pre-Revisionist stories, planeswalkers were often sorcerers who somehow acquired the incredibly vast amount of mana[1] required to perform the ritualistic sorcery of one's own ascension. Slaying a powerful planeswalker was one common way to acquire the necessary mana.

Sparking[ | ]

Following the Mending, ascension was no longer a viable option for becoming a planeswalker, making it impossible for most wizards to become planeswalkers. A very small fraction of wizards possess the qualities needed for a natural spark. These wizards are known as embers.[2] Usually, its ignition is triggered by a powerful, emotionally-affecting, perspective-altering life event.[3] Ignitions are often caused by near-death experiences, though it is possible for an ember to undergo such an experience — even dying — without igniting their spark.[4]

First planeswalk[ | ]

As an effect of the ignition, the newly-ignited planeswalker planeswalks away for their first time: they are pulled to the Blind Eternities and then come back appearing to a random plane, and afterwards realizing their new traveling powers.

List of all explained ignitions:

Planeswalker Ignited on Planeswalked to Date Ignition's cause
Ajani Goldmane Naya Jund 4556 AR Realizing the death of his brother.
Arlinn Kord Innistrad Unknown Between c. 4528 and c. 4543 Realizing she transformed into a werewolf and had killed an angel;[5] or after killing her childhood friend Luciana in werewolf form.[6]
Basri Ket Amonkhet Unknown Between c. 4550 and 4560 Elation at winning Oketra's Trial of Solidarity.
Bo Levar Dominaria Unknown 63 Being caught in the Sylex Blast.[7]
Calix Theros Unknown c. 4561 Frustration about his inability to fulfill his purpose of following Elspeth Tirel.
Chandra Nalaar Kaladesh Regatha c. 4548[8] Striking against her executioner with pyromancy.
Dack Fayden Fiora Unknown Between c. 4537 and c. 4550 Witnessing his friend being killed by rival mages.
Dakkon Blackblade Dominaria Unknown Between c. -2000 and c. -200 After Geyadrone Dihada stole his soul using the Blackblade.
Daretti Fiora Unknown Being crippled by the explosion of one of his constructs.
Davriel Cane Unknown Unknown Between c. 4511 and c. 4556 Pulling a Worldsoul entity from the mind of a dying man into his own mind.
Domri Rade Ravnica Naya 4558 Being buried alive as part of a Gruul ritual.
Dovin Baan Kaladesh Unknown Between 4500 and 4560
Elspeth Tirel Capenna Theros c. 4546 Fleeing from the Phyrexians.[9]
Eskil Dominaria Unknown Between -2,500 and -440 Splashed by the blood of the corrupted angel Trine.
Faralyn Dominaria Shandalar 2934 Cast the ascension spell using mana harvested from Chromium Rhuell.[10]
Freyalise Dominaria Unknown c. 2434 Being mortally wounded by Jason Carthalion.
Garth One-Eye Kuthuman's realm Unknown 4069 Cast the ascension spell using the mana harvested from slaying Kuthuman.[1][11]
Garruk Unknown Shandalar[12] Between c. 4537 and 4556
Gideon Jura Theros Bant c. 4547[13][14] Realizing the death of his irregulars through his own hubris.
Huatli Ixalan Kaladesh (uncompleted) 4560 Under furious attack by Angrath.
Jace Beleren Vryn Ravnica c. 4548[15] Accidental planeswalk after being memory wiped.
Jared Carthalion Dominaria Unknown 3980 Being crushed by crumbling monoliths while confronting Ravidel.
Jaya Ballard Dominaria Elsewhere on Dominaria 2954 Being hit by Jodah's mirror.
Jeska Dominaria Unknown 4306 Being split from Karona with the Mirari.
Kaito Shizuki Kamigawa Unknown c. 4552 The kami Himoto ignited Kaito's spark after they find they have a common goal in finding the Emperor of Kamgiawa in the Multiverse.
Karn (1st time) Dominaria Mercadia[7] 4205 Acquiring Urza's spark.
Karn (2nd time) New Phyrexia Unknown 4557 Acquiring Venser's spark.
Kaya Cassir Tolvada Unknown Between c. 4530 and 4560
Kiora Zendikar Unknown Between c. 4539 and 4559 Being swallowed by a big sea serpent.
Koth of the Hammer Mirrodin Unknown Between 4500 and 4557
Kuthuman Dominaria Unknown 4049 Cast the ascension spell using mana tributes from the Fighting Houses of Kush.[1]
Liliana Vess Dominaria Innistrad Between c. 4300 and c. 4400 Turning to black mana to restrain her undead brother Josu.
Lukka Ikoria Unknown c. 4561 Overextending the power of the Ozolith
Masrath Dominaria Unknown c. 4500 An innate sense of the Multiverse following the Mending.
Mu Yanling Shenmeng Unknown Between 4500 and 4560
Nahiri Zendikar Innistrad Before -1400
Narset Tarkir Pulled back to Tarkir Between 4500 and 4559 Learning the truth about Tarkir's past.
Nicol Bolas Dominaria Meditation Plane Between c. -20,000 and c. -15,500 Rage and envy against Ugin.
Niko Aris Theros Bretagard, Kaldheim c. 4561 During a battle against an agent of Klothys.
Nissa Revane Zendikar Lorwyn 4520[16] Witnessing Emrakul's sealed presence.
Ob Nixilis (1st time) A plane of eternal war Unknown 2559 or earlier Realizing the futility of life and mono-planar ambitions.
Ob Nixilis (2nd time) Zendikar Unknown 4559 Siphoning the power of the hedrons into himself.
Oko Unknown Unknown Tortured by magical procedures designed to suppress his powers.
Quintorius Kand Arcavios Unknown 4562 Taking the Invocation of the Founders into himself to save the plane and school during New Phyrexia's Invasion of the Multiverse.
Ral Zarek Ravnica Unknown Between 4500 and 4558 Being stabbed and finding out his lover was betraying him.
Ravidel Dominaria Unknown 2934 Being resurrected from death by Kristina of the Woods.
Rowan and Will Kenrith Eldraine Possibly Kylem[17] c. 4561 Learning the truth about their birth mother.
Saheeli Rai Kaladesh Unknown Between 4500 and 4560
Samut Amonkhet Theros 4560 Experiencing euphoria and joy after being thanked by Hazoret.
Sarkhan Vol Tarkir Unknown c. 4554 Channeling the spirit of an ancient dragon.
Sifa Grent Grixis Unknown Between 4500 and 4559 Tortured by Malfegor.
Sorin Markov Innistrad Unknown -2442 or earlier Becoming a vampire.
Tacenda Verlasen Innistrad Unknown 4559 Defeating her sister Willia, and absorbing the Bog Entity.[18]
Tamiyo Kamigawa Unknown Between 4500 and 4559 Discovering a book from another plane.[19]
Taysir Rabiah Unknown Before -20 Uniting his five selves.
Teferi Akosa (1st time) Dominaria Unknown Between 3360 and c. 3650 An experiment with time and phasing gone wrong.
Teferi Akosa (2nd time) Dominaria Unknown 4560 Restored by a Powerstone made by Jhoira.
Tessebik Dominaria Unknown c. 4500 An innate sense of the Multiverse following the Mending.
Teyo Verada Gobakhan Ravnica 4560 Being buried alive.
Tezzeret Esper Grixis Between 4500 and c. 4545 Being attacked by guards after learning that the Codex Etherium was empty.
Tibalt Innistrad Unknown Feeling all the pain he had inflicted on others in his life.
The Traveler (non-canon) Unknown Meditation Plane c. 4560
Tyvar Kell Kaldheim Possibly Zendikar[20]
Ugin Dominaria Meditation Plane Between c. -25,000 and c. -19,000 Realizing his twin brother doesn't love him and is trying to manipulate him.
Urza Dominaria Unknown 63 Enduring the Sylex Blast and being resurrected by Glacian's spark through the Might and Weakstone.
Venser Dominaria (alternate timeline) Dominaria 4500 AR With Teferi and Jhoira's help, returning to their timeline.
Vivien Reid Skalla Unknown Between 4500 and 4560 Seeing her world destroyed by Nicol Bolas.
Vraska Ravnica A swamp on a dark plane. A tomb with no way out. c. 4540 Being severely beaten by Azorius prison guards.
Vronos Innistrad Esper Between 4500 and 4556 Having his face scarred by werewolves.
The Wanderer Kamigawa Unknown c. 4551 After Tezzeret tried to control the kami Kyodai using a prototype Reality Chip.
Wrenn Unknown Unknown 4561 or earlier Threatened by a forest fire.

References[ | ]

  1. a b c Forstchen, William R. (1994). Arena. Harper Prism.
  2. Jay Annelli (2022). Magic: The Gathering - The Visual Guide, DK. ISBN-13 978-0744061055.
  3. Doug Beyer (August 4, 2015). "Spark Ignition". A Voice for Vorthos. Tumblr.
  4. Doug Beyer (March 28, 2015). "A latent planeswalker spark isn’t a guaranteed Get Out of Death Free card". A Voice for Vorthos. Tumblr.
  5. Arlinn Kord
  6. K. Arsenault Rivera (September 02, 2021). "Episode 1: The Witch of the Woods". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. a b J. Robert King. (2001.) Apocalypse, Wizards of the Coast. ISBN-13 0-7869-1880-2.
  8. Doug Beyer (June 10, 2015). "Chandra’s Origin: Fire Logic". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Seanan McGuire (October 26, 2022). "The Brother's War - Chapter 4: The Dark".
  10. Gomez, Jeff. (1995). "The Shard". Ice Age on the World of Magic: The Gathering. Armada.
  11. Ethan Fleischer (June 10, 2021). "The Returning Legends of Modern Horizons 2". Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Scalefast Inc. (August 28, 2023). "Magic: The Baseballing". Wizards of the Coast Secret Lair.
  13. Ari Levitch (July 1, 2015). "Gideon’s Origin: Kytheon Iora of Akros". Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Magic Duels: Origins
  15. Kelly Digges (June 24, 2015). "Jace’s Origin: Absent Minds". Wizards of the Coast.
  16. Chris L'Etoile (August 29, 2016). "Homesick". Wizards of the Coast.
  17. Adana Washington (March 25, 2021). "Episode 1: Class Is in Session". Wizards of the Coast.
  18. Brandon Sanderson (2018). "Children of the Nameless". Wizards of the Coast.
  19. The Preview Panel - MagicCon Chicago (Video). Magic: The Gathering. YouTube (February 23 2024).
  20. Roy Graham (January 13, 2021). "Kaldheim Episode 2: Awaken the Trolls". Wizards of the Coast.