The full spoilers for Guilds of Ravnica are out, and I’ve readied a selection of cards from the set that I’m most excited for. The majority of these cards are in the Rare or Mythic slot, with only a couple of uncommons being decent enough to warrant a look. It’s also looking like the most interesting cards in the set are mostly multi-color, which makes sense given the 2-color pairings for guilds and their best cards being a combination of the two. As such, we don’t have any 3+ color combination cards, because this set focuses on five of the ten guilds from Ravnica. This also means that though there are outliers, many of the cards that are mono colored aren’t that great, but we’ll get to that in a bit. Let’s start with the big category!
Outside of the Mythic Masterpiece Planeswalkers, there are only two new ones for this set. The new Ral, and the new Vraska. I’m interested in Vraska for my Jodah deck, because I have one of her older versions in it already and this one comes with an emblem, which was the point of me adding them to that deck in the first place. There are also new versions of legendaries that we’ve known in the past, those being Tajic, Lazav, Aurelia, and Niv-Mizzet. Upon first glance, they all seem like worse versions of prior incarnations, but at the same time they fit the set just fine. Tajic isn’t as beefy as he was in prior sets, but he’s cheap and gives all other creatures indestructible which is perfect for Boros aggro themese. Lazav still copies other creatures, but now instead of targeting anything he can only target things in your graveyard. You also have to pay the cmc of the copied card, so we’ll want to be strategic in using him. Aurelia is a flat out worse version. I like the new Niv-Mizzet, and think he’ll slot nicely into my Locust God deck. Otherwise we have a grouping of spells and creatures that are just flat out good. I love Etrata and Memnonic Betrayal, they both fit well into established Dimir themes. I won’t go on and on but I could find places for all of these cards in decks I own… and I think Lazav might be a good card to brew a deck around.
Colorless & Lands:
This being a mostly multi-colored set means there aren’t many interesting artifacts. Chromatic Lantern is getting a much needed reprint, it was starting to creep up near $20. It will be nice for EDH players to have a cheaper price point. There is also a new cycle of mana rocks, one for each guild that cost 3 to play, and tap for either color. They also have the ability to be sacrificed in the late game to draw two cards. Similar to the signets, these cards will likely see play in EDH. We’re also seeing reprints of the Guildgates — there are plenty of “gates matter” cards in the set too, but I don’t see that really being a thing because gates are generic tap lands and not played by me or most people. However, we are getting reprints of the Shock lands, which for a full set currently would run you in the ballpark of $150. I’m sort of sad because my girlfriend gifted me a full set early this year, but I’m happy that I can now potentially get more out of packs and they’re great for deckbuilding.
Not a ton of white additions to the list, but I do like those that I’ve listed here. Bounty Agent is some nice removal on the cheap, as is Crush Contraband, allowing you to Exile both an artifact and an enchantment. Citywide Beat is a great answer for Arcades and toughness matters decks. Light of the Legion is a 5/5 flying Angel with mentor, but also gives out +1/+1 counters when it dies, which could be interesting. Lastly, Dawn of Hope should be great for decks like Oloro, where lifegain can net you some card draw. It also can create some tokens as needed. Good for different deck strategies.
I’m not overly thrilled with blue, but I do like the surveil mechanic that’s definitely a Dimir thing. Mission Briefing is supposed to be the “fixed” Snapcaster Mage, in that it does the same thing but is a spell instead of being on a body. Disdainful Strike in an interesting new counterspell but probably not good enough for EDH. Thoughtbound Phantasm is a card that really only works in a deck heavy with surveil mechanics, but interesting nonetheless. I like Defender cards with fun subtext. The Adept is a nice way to cheat out expensive spells from your hand, and Drowned Secrets is another tool for mill decks.
Black has a few options I like. Doom Whisperer is a 6/6 flying trample that allows you to pay life to surveil. What an engine. I’m likely throwing that in Kaalia. Midnight Reaper looks good for both Zombie and Knight tribal decks, dealing you a damage and netting you a card everytime a creature you control dies. Gruesome menagerie is an interesting recursion card in the right deck. Blood operative works with surveil as well, but is also some graveyard hate. Probably worth a slot in a vampire deck. Mausoleum Secrets is a new tutor that will work well with surveil as you will be putting cards in your graveyard early, and should be able to grab up something costly with it.
Not too thrilled with red. I like a couple of the new goblins, the Cratermaker can one shot a colorless permanent, likely an artifact but also can kill big Eldrazi. The Legion Warboss has mentor and also gets you a 1/1 goblin each combat. Electrostatic Field is great for spellslinger decks, but otherwise meh. Experimental Frenzy is interesting, but I don’t know where it would go. I guess if you are typically out of cards, it does help with that but doesn’t allow you to play cards from your hand so it’s tricky.
I’m really unimpressed with green this time around, but that’s probably because I’m not a Selesnya or Golgari player, because some of those multi-colored cards with green in them are pretty good. I’m included a big Hexproof beast here because I think it could work in certain decks, the revival spell is great in decks with a lot of multi-colored spells, and the defender is actually decent but the indestructible cost is a bit high. Again, sort of meh on this color.
So there you have it. The new set is out on October 5th, but I intend on going to the prerelease on the last weekend of this month. I’m sure I’ll have more to say on the topic by then.