Fall has come to Ravnica, and the city-plane is in for some big changes. Ral Zarek is in charge of the Izzet League, the Boros are buffer than ever, and the Golgari Elf Shamans are now Zombie Elf Shamans. Plus, the Dimir might be the heroes of this story? Strange times indeed.
Today, as we launch our Guilds of Ravnica presale, we wanted to give you a quick rundown of what we know so far about the new set before full previews begin next Monday.
Shock Lands Are Back!
In a shocking development, these fan-favorite lands were revealed at the end of Magic‘s PAX West panel last Saturday. Temple Garden, Overgrown Tomb, Watery Grave, Sacred Foundry, and Steam Vents will all return in Guilds of Ravnica, with brand-new art to boot! For Standard players, this means that multicolored decks will likely be the norm in the format again, as these lands synergize particularly well with the rare land cycles from Dominaria and Ixalan. If you’re looking to sleeve up some new Standard decks this fall (or Modern, for that matter), these lands are must-haves.
Guilds of Ravnica has also introduced some new guild mechanics – and brought back a few old favorites.
First, split cards are back! These cards are a hallmark of previous Ravnica sets and give players two potential options when casting spells. Unlike the split cards in Dragon’s Maze, these new cards do not have the Fuse mechanic, so you can only cast one half at a time. All the same, Status//Statue is a neat design that we expect to see plenty of this fall.
The five guilds in Guilds of Ravnica also have their own mechanics, and Selesnya’s is a throwback to Ravnica: City of Guilds. Convoke is a powerful mechanic that allows players to tap creatures to help pay the costs of spells; if you liked the Improvise mechanic in Aether Revolt, Convoke may be right up your alley.
The other four guilds all have new mechanics that still pack plenty of flavor. The Boros always stand together, and the new Mentor mechanic lets your stronger creatures help out the smaller ones. Whenever a creature with Mentor attacks, you may choose another attacking creature with lesser power and put a +1/+1 counter on it, giving it more of a fighting chance. Good job, team!
The inventive Izzet have a new mechanic called Jump-start, which allows you to cast spells from your graveyard by paying the spell’s mana cost and discarding a card. (For added value, you could even discard another card with Jump-start!) Note: Like spells cast with Flashback, spells cast with Jump-start are exiled as part of their resolution.
Dimir’s new mechanic, Surveil, is also a variation on a popular existing mechanic. Surveil works a lot like Scry: it will always include a number, indicating how many cards from the top of your library you should look at. If you want to keep the card(s) on top of your library, you may, and if you look at more than one card, you may put them back in any order. However, instead of putting card(s) on the bottom of your library, as you would with Scry, you put the card(s) in your graveyard instead. Narcomoeba approves.
Surveil also pairs nicely with the new Golgari mechanic, Undergrowth. An instance of “Undergrowth” on a card denotes that an effect cares about how many creature cards are in your graveyard, but each Undergrowth effect is different. We’re excited to see more cards from the set and find out what else the Golgari can do.
And there you have it! There are still more secrets to uncover on Ravnica, and we’ll be checking in with Ral, Vraska, and co. as things develop. In the meantime, be sure to visit CardKingdom.com for all your Guilds of Ravnica needs – we’ll be updating our singles inventory until the full set is revealed!