There are, let's face it, a lot of planeswalkers in Magic's lore, and many of them have gotten one or more cards of their own since the card type was introduced in Lorwyn. So it's easy to lose track of some of the characters as they disappear from the story for a block or several. That's presumably why Doug Beyer wrote the recent Checking in on the Planeswalkers article on the mothership, to keep us all abreast of the lore and leave no one confused when a particular 'walker returns.
The most interesting things we didn't know for sure before:
- Gideon and Koth are both still alive, and still seeking friends and aid. These two men have similar backstories - they each witnessed a home (one adopted, one native) ruined in the final sets of their respective debut blocks, but were among those who made it out alive. Koth was presumed dead in a fight with one of New Phyrexia's Praetors, but limped away hurt but alive and is now one of the Furnace Layer holdouts. Gideon, meanwhile, explicitly wants to return to Zendikar ASAP (as does Nissa). And the plane still very much exists, and people are capably of (meagerly) living there. The Eldrazi Titans are apparently gone for good, although their Drones and Spawn of the brood lineages still scourge the land. Could this be the setup for a Return to Zendikar block?
- Liliana is on the cusp of finding the next of her masters to kill. It's well-known in Liliana's backstory that she sold her soul to four interplanar Demons simultaneously. She's since killed Kothophed and Griselbrand, but two remain. Well, turns out she's unconcerned with her own would-be killer Garruk and is now seeking victim number three, possibly to confront that Demon in an upcoming block.
- Sorin might go back to Zendikar. Sorin played a role in the salvation of his plane of birth, Innistrad. He created the Archangel Avacyn to watch over the mortals there, which worked well for a while, until she was trapped in the Helvault after a climactic battle with Griselbrand. Ironically, it was the villainous Liliana who was the plane's true savior, having both released Avacyn and killed Griselbrand for good. Now Sorin turns his attention back to another crisis he feels responsible for - the escape of the Eldrazi from their hedron prisons whence he put them millennia ago with the help of Ugin and the Lithomancer. Interestingly, both Sorin and Sarkhan's sections mention Ugin...
In addition to the story tidbits, the article is illustrated in part by two art pieces never used on cards: One of the destruction of the Helvault; and the other of Sarkhan adopting a partially Dragon-like form in battle. The latter seems more like concept art or a sketch than a finished piece; but likely we'll seem something like it in Tarkir block.