Story Spotlights are a small group of cards found in each expansion set from Kaladesh onward. They are marked by the words "Story Spotlight" (initially followed by a sequence number) below the text box.
When collected and read in order, Story Spotlights convey the broad strokes of that set's storyline. Each such card also shows the web address for Magic Story, mtgstory.com, where the complete narrative can be read.
In addition to the text label at the bottom of the card, each early Story Spotlight card carried a watermark of the planeswalker symbol in its text box. Until Rivals of Ixalan, each set had a total of 5 Story Spotlight cards.
The story has been told in a variety of media, including novels, comic books, webcomics, and ebooks. Currently, new chapters are published weekly in the online Magic Story column, which is more popular and more widely read than all previous models of storytelling. However, many players remain unfamiliar with the story. Story Spotlights were created to make the story more visible, and draw less enfranchised players to the online column.
Story Spotlights are actually only the latest of several iterations of showing the story on cards. Tempest card art depicted the story nearly scene-for-scene, but the cards lacked any explicit order. At some point afterwards, a policy was instituted barring cards from showing key story events. More recently, that policy was dropped, and a concerted effort was made to convey major plot points on cards.
Prior to their printing, the name "Pivotal Moments" was considered for the Story Spotlight cards. However, it was changed for being inadequately self-explanatory.
As of War of the Spark the Story Spotlights no longer featured the planeswalker symbol watermark.
Lists of Story Spotlights
- Wizards of the Coast (September 16, 2016). "Kaladesh Release Notes". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (October 17, 2016). "Odds & Ends: Kaladesh, Part 2". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Creative Team (November 9, 2016). "The Making of Kaladesh". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (September 05, 2016). "What is the significance of the watermark on Inventors' Fair?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (September 15, 2016). "Highlighting the story moments on cards is a great idea...". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (December 18, 2016). "Why do you see engagement in Weekly Columns as success of the storytelling?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Magic at PAX: Kaladesh World-Building Panel
- Blake Rasmussen (August 30, 2015). "Tempest Storyboard". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (June 23, 2017). "Was this a change after the end of Theros block?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (September 06, 2016). "Will we ever get a return to the Weatherlight Saga style...". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (September 06, 2016). ""Story Spotlight" cards is the new "official" term for what had previously been called "Pivotal Moment" cards, is that correct?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (June 21, 2018). "Are there no Story Spotlight cards in the new Core Set?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (September 03, 2018). "Is it the new norm that story spotlight cards no longer indicate their order among themselves within a set?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (September 03, 2018). "Not giving the Story Spotlight cards numbers removes the utility of them.". Blogatog. Tumblr.