A New Magic The Gathering Set Always Feels Like Christmas Day.
Guilds of Ravnica was recently announced as the next set in the series the other day on the Wizards of the Coast website. In the set we’ll see a lot of new and returning mechanics. Here are some of the key highlights so far.
Creeping Chill – (3B)
By itself the card isn’t that great. It’s a 4 CMC sorcery spell that gains you 3 life while hitting all opponents for 3 damage but what makes it stand out for me is the second part of the card. “When Creeping Chill is put into your graveyard from your library, you may exile it,” this is especially important because this upcoming Standard rotation has mechanics like Explore & Surveil that allows a player to toss cards from the top of their library into the graveyard. So you could easily Explore/Surveil this card into your graveyard in order to free cast the card and I don’t know about you but “free” is my favorite word in any language.
Will it see play in Standard? I don’t think we’ll know just yet but it just seems like a good synergy with Explore/Surveil.
Etrata, the Silencer – (2UB)
This card is a 3/5 unblockable creature that says, “When it deal damage to a player, exile target creature that player controls and put a hit counter on that card. That player loses the game if they own three or more exiled cards with hit counters on them. Etrata’s owner shuffles Etrata into their library”.
Will this see play in Standard? I don’t think so because it is relying on your opponent essentially having creatures to exile. The fact that it gets shuffled back into the library makes it slow but this is a card with a unique win condition, so it definitely had to make the cut for the highlights of this new set. It’s actually so unique, that it makes me want to build a brand new EDH deck to see if I can really break it.
The Shock Lands
I know, I know.. this is a set of cards. But I’m going to include them in the list. I mean, it should go without saying but we all knew that the shocks were going to return. They appeared in the first Ravnica, came back for Return, and now they’re back again. I would’ve been more SHOCKED if they hadn’t reprinted them in a Ravnica set. They’re staples in almost every format and they will continue to be staples in Standard. If anything, I’m happy about the reprints because they’re running with new art and it will help reduce the cost of them for the other formats.
Doom Whisperer – (3BB)
This card is a bomb. It’s a 6/6 flyer with Trample that let’s you pay 2 life to Surveil 2. The Surveil ability is the icing on the cake because the stats alone on this make the card seem unreal. Usually when a card has lopsided stats, there is a downside to the card. There’s usually something that says “Yeah, we know this is pretty strong but remember there’s a price to pay” but this card doesn’t. I would highly recommend drafting it because it’s an all around good card and I can already tell you that this will see play in Standard, maybe even Modern. It’s good in any deck with graveyard synergy!
Mnemonic Betrayal – (1UB)
So, this card is basically Yawgmoth’s Will in Standard Format that will hit all opponents. At Sorcery Speed, it let’s you cast cards from your opponents grave and let’s you “Spend mana as though it were mana of any type to cast those spells”.
Will this see play in Standard? Probably not. The card really looks like it was built for EDH seeing that even the wording of the card says “All Opponents”.
Should this go into any Mill EDH strategy? Oh hell yeah. I’m already making room for this card in my girlfriend’s Oona Mill EDH deck.
Assassin’s Trophy – (GB)
Can we be basic for a moment? The minute this card was announced, the Internet was SHOOK.
Ok, now that we got that over with, I want to talk more about this card. It’s a 2 mana Vindicate, or an open-ended Abrupt Decay at instant speed. For 2 CMC, it destroys a permanently an opponent control at instant with the only downside being that your opponent gets to search for a basic and put it into the battlefield untapped. Sure, giving your opponent mana advantage can suck, but the fact it’s a cheaper Vindicate in Standard just seems nuts!
People have already been speculating that this will indeed replace Abrupt Decay, because it’s not limited to a non-land 3 CMC permanent like Decay is. In Modern, Legacy, Vintage, EDH and Standard, people have already started building out decks with this card. The card is already going for $30 online, and it hasn’t even come out yet.
Knight of Autumn – (1GW)
This card is insanely versatile. It’s a 2/1 creature that when it ETB’s you choose 1 of 3 effects. Either you put 2 + 1/+1 counter, making it into a 4/3 creature card, it destroys an artifact or enchantment, or it gains you 4 life while giving you a body to block against attackers. It’s definitely a step above Reclamation Sage, which is already pretty versatile in Standard.
Will this see play in Standard? Unless you’re running Mono-Green, I would recommend running this at least on your sideboard while it’s in Standard.
PlagueCrafter – (2B)
This card is an evolved version of Fleshbag Marauder. But unlike Fleshbag (who only hits creatures) this card can force them to sacrifice a Planeswalker instead. The best part is that if your opponent has neither to sacrifice, it forces them to discard a card. Now, I personally run a few ETB/Force Players to Sacrifice a creature cards in a few of my EDH decks, but there are plenty of times where I will wait on playing the card because I want to maximize the damage. With a card like this, whether my opponents have creatures or not, it doesn’t matter anymore.
Will this see play in Standard? Almost definitely. I am already planning out ways to draft this card.
Vicious Rumors – (B)
This is a 1 CMC Sorcery… That really doesn’t do a whole lot. It forces your opponents to discard, mill, or lose 1 life – while it gains you 1 life for 1 mana. It’s definitely important with the upcoming rotation, with mechanics like Surveil and Explore. Think about this, if you’re opponent does either and they decide to keep the card on the top of the library, you better believe that making them mill that card could mess up their game play.
Will this see play in Standard? Maybe not. I think I may be giving this card too much credit, but I will definitely be drafting it to see how it holds up.
These cards aren’t ones to jump on immediately at launch, but they are definitely ones to keep an eye on and see how it impacts the meta overall.
Chromatic Lantern – 3 CMC
While the above has been mostly new cards, Chromatic Lantern definitely deserves an honorable mention. This has been a long time staple for any multi-color EDH decks. It provides a lot of mana fixing. This card needed a reprint because even with 2 printings of this card, it was at $15 for a mana rock that was just reprinted in Commander in 2016.
Izoni, Thousand-Eyed – 6 CMC (2BBGG)
Maybe it’s because I’m a Golgari player, both when it comes to 60 card and EDH. But a part of me really wants to like this card. It’s “Undergrowth” ability is decent in the late game, given that you have creatures in the graveyard. But the fact that it’s a 2/3 for 6 CMC with an ability that might possibly wiff on you seems like a gamble. As a sacrifice outlet, it’s not bad. You activate the ability for 2 CMC, sacrifice a creature, and it gains you 1 life/1 card. But as of right now, I don’t see myself including this into my decks just yet.
Bounty Agent – 2 CMC (1W)
While I see this being a good addition to EDH, I don’t think this card will see much play since it only hits certain “Legendary” permanents. Hear me out. This card is great in that it automatically takes care of other players commanders, and the fact that it’s 2 CMC means that you can bring it back with something like Sun Titan. Sun Titan is a staple in most White EDH decks. But it would be a lot stronger if it could hit Shock Lands and Planeswalkers as well. The fact it doesn’t really hurts the playability of this card.