Guilds of Ravnica, Part Two

 

On Tuesday, I took a quick look at the upcoming set, Guilds of Ravnica, which starts Magic’s third Ravnica block. Many of the new cards spoiled look to be super fun for EDH and quite powerful, and are ones that I’m really looking forward to trying out in my own decks. Today, with lots more new cards spoiled since then, what else do I think looks good for the format?

Let’s take a look!

It has been a pretty good year for EDH, and casual Magic as a whole. From Dominaria to Battlebond to Core Set 2019, we’ve had a whole slew of awesome sets giving us new cards for our favorite casual format. And from the early looks we’ve had at it so far, Guilds of Ravnica will be no different! Let’s take a look at the cards I like for EDH so far.

NEW PLANESWALKERS:
I’ve always said two things about new Magic sets. You can always tell how exciting the set is by what new or reprinted dual lands are in it, and you can always tell just how hyped people will get about the set by looking at its new planeswalkers. Well, we went over the return of the shocklands last time, so let’s take a look at the planeswalkers.

New Vraska is a strange, but interesting planeswalker. Her + ability basically reads “Sacrifice a permanent, draw a card” which is actually a very strong ability (and it’s in the right colors, giving you tokens from green to sacrifice, and Grave Pact effects from black to go with it). I like that she also has a pseudo Disenchant ability as her -, giving you ways to destroy problem permanents at will. And her ultimate is quite silly, giving you an instantly lethal Phage, the Untouchable-esque trigger for all of your creatures..

Overall, I like the new Vraska quite a lot, but then, I’m a huge fan of Grave Pact, which goes very well with her first ability.

I’m not really as excited about new Ral, as I don’t really have a place for him. Ral will be excellent in a deck where “instants and sorceries matter” (which is what our Keranos, God of Storms deck used to be, until I dismantled it for Brudiclad).

I honestly find Ral mostly boring, as he follows the Ob Nixilis Reignited template for card advantage (+1: Draw a card, -3: Remove a creature, and a silly ultimate). They’ve used this planeswalker template on multiple ‘walkers since Ob Nixilis, and it makes me yawn each time. Do something original, guys.

Still, if you have an Izzet spellslinger deck with tons of instants and sorceries, new Ral would be pretty good for you, letting you draw cards and remove things to your heart’s content.

ALL THE NEW SPLIT CARDS:
As I’d said in my first look at this set, I have always had a love for cards that give me options, and these new split cards look like they will give a ton of options every time you cast them, which is great. There is a cycle of uncommons and a cycle of rare split cards, and they are all quite playable in our favorite 100-card format.

I really like this cycle of cards, and I’m looking forward to trying them out in EDH.

THE “AABB” UNCOMMON CYCLE:
I love budget cards for EDH, and so I’ve always loved seeing strong cycles of uncommon cards. For each guild in Ravnica 3, there is a card that costs AABB of those colors, and each one looks very playable in our favorite format. Golgari Findbroker looks especially good, giving us yet another copy of Eternal Witness to play with.

This is a strong and useful cycle, and I look forward to seeing what the January set has to finish off the cycle.

COMMON MANA ROCKS:
Much like the Cluestone cycle from Dragon’s Maze, we have this cycle of mana rocks, which build on the legacy of the original Mind Stone. In EDH, there are some colors that can mana ramp much more easily than others (the blue/x color combinations are normally the slowest), so having mana rocks to speed up your plays is often a good thing.

Of these, the one that I can almost guarantee will see play is Izzet Locket. It just so happens to have synergy with each of the Izzet card-drawing generals (Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind and The Locust God in particular) and ramps you into them, so I foresee this seeing much play.

As commons, these are excellent budget options.

BIG SPLASHY MYTHICS:
For each guild, there are a number of big, silly, powerful mythics in this set to choose from, which is nice. Each has an effect that a certain style of EDH deck would definitely want, which is super useful.

For Dimir, we have a Yawgmoth’s Will that lets you play from your opponents’ graveyards; in a game as swingy and with as many high-powered plays as EDH, this will lead to some huge blowout turns in a lategame. Izzet gets an enchantment that gives all of your instants/sorceries storm, and that just screams ‘combo’ to me. (I know for a fact that if anyone ever plays this against me, I can’t ever let them untap with it, heh.) Selesnya gets an X-spell that makes X 1/1’s with lifelink (their version of Sphinx’s Revelation) at instant speed; again, this can be a big finisher to close out a game with.

These are big mythics, and will end up seeing a lot of EDH play in their respective strategies.

So that’s a quick look at some more cards from this highly-anticipated set! There are a lot of cards that I know I’ll want to play in EDH, so I’m very much looking forward to it!

 

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