|Commander / EDH||Legal|
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|Guilds of Ravnica (GRN)||Uncommon|
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Creature — Human Wizard
, : Target creature doesn't untap during its controller's next untap step.
, : Surveil 2. (Look at the top two cards of your library, then put any number of them into your graveyard and the rest on top of your library in any order.)
House Guildmage Discussion
9 months ago
I think I'd get rid of one or both of the Dimir Guildmages depending on how much you like the card (the ability is a bit expensive for what you get in my opinion). If you like the dual utility of Dimir Guildmage you could also consider swapping it for House Guildmage which I think is a tad better unless you're really hurting for draw abilities. Same with Dinrova Horror, while flavorful 6 cmc for a 4/4 with bounce seems a bit much when you have a good number of counters, removal, or things like Unexplained Disappearance. Of surveil cards, Nightveil Sprite can give you some great mileage out of just one card. As far as Dimir Spybug and Thoughtbound Phantasm, you'll have to make the call if you think its worth it for just one copy of each. From experience playing a Dimir deck I drafted with lots of surveil but only one of each those creatures, they're amazing when you draw them, but also often I had games where I didn't draw them. Or they got immediately removed. Surveil helps filter your deck to get to them faster, so 2 of each would probably make it much better. Up to you.
You could probably replace Dimir Charm with one of the cards I mentioned that you like, since I think the best ability on the charm is usually going to be the counter, followed by the removal, and you have a fair number of counters and some removal already.
Unmoored Ego is cool but if your friends/playgroup are also playing "guild kit" style with few duplicates, then it probably wouldn't make much sense in the deck, unless you have that one pesky friend that's always rocking 3-4x of a particularly annoying card that you need to nip at the bud.
Whispering Snitch and Enhanced Surveillance are also fun if you feel like you're surveiling enough to make it worth it. Though one could also say, if you're surveilling a lot then Enhanced Surveillance is a bit unnecessary overkill.
Also keep in mind, I don't think Whispering Madness would be nearly as useful without something like Notion Thief, outside of a scenario where you only have a couple cards and your opponent/s have a full hand. If the scenario is reversed, you'll only be helping them out. However, with Notion Thief it basically becomes a reusable "opponent discards hand, you discard and redraw a full hand" or some such.
Kinda hard for me to answer specifically "replace A B C with X Y Z" since a deck with few duplicates is generally less consistent in the direction it's trying to go. Some fun cards here though for you to consider.
Oh by the way, I didn't realize this at first so I'll throw this in here in case you didn't already know, but you can bounce Etrata back to your hand after damage to get her whole "hit counter exile" wincon thing and avoid reshuffling her ;)
9 months ago
@hydrothermia Also, I rarely use House Guildmage to attack. It's mainly used to keep creatures locked down. Thief of Sanity is the real MVP of the deck given that you can get player damage out of them. Use surveil mechanic mainly for deathtouch for those bigger creatures when I dont have a Disperse, Murder or Unexplained Disappearance.
And the "budget" part is because I just started getting back into MTG and don't have a lot of cards/don't want to spend more money than necessary.
9 months ago
Additionally, the OG ravnica guildmages were weak as hell and/or more useful because of their mechanics and interactions with other guilds:
Selesnya Guildmage vs Conclave Guildmage - they both have comparative token making abilities, since the token on the one is bigger. Trample for 1 mana vs +1/+1 for 4 mana - trample is way weaker, but not in the context of GRN. The payoff for the selesnya guild in OG Ravnica is a wide board - convoke on Scatter the Seeds vs GRN's payoff of Rosemane Centaur. GRN Selesnya is tall, compared to RAV's wide Selesnya.
Izzet Guildmage vs League Guildmage - League guildmage's copy ability is better than izzet mages. There are likely no turns where you can use Izzet's ability twice, since paying 6 mana on top of another 4 mana for decent spells is a lot. Getting to copy any spell, not just 2 CMC or less is a big plus in League's favor. When you do not cast a spell, Izzet guildmage is a bear. League can at least draw you into spells to copy.
Golgari Guildmage vs Swarm Guildmage - Golgari's abilities cost entirely too much - paying 5 mana for a counter or a worse Raise Dead is not really a worthy investment. Swarm has two relevant abilities and both put you further ahead in the game that shore up what the guild lacks.
Dimir Guildmage vs House Guildmage - is 4 mana draw a card vs 3 mana surveil 2 comparable? Yes, in GRN, the House guildmage has better abilities. The tap ability is rarely useful, but potent when the opportunity arises, but instant speed surveiling is very powerful. Dimir guildmages's abilities are both sorcery speed, which limit their uses significantly.
Boros Guildmage vs Legion Guildmage - Boros' abilities are a bit overprised, especially the haste ability for 2 mana is rarely useful. The first strike ability is very powerful though and makes for tough combat math, but has very limited cases in which it allows you to actually win combats, because it is open information compared to a combat trick. Legion on the hand is much better at pushing damage with its (overpriced) 3 mana tap ability, which actively changes combat whether you are attacking or not. The 6 mana ability is a game ender and mana sink for a guild made up of low-cost aggressive cards. Legion guildmage is more versatile than its RAV counterpart.
I would say all of the new guildmages are better than all of the oldest ones. However, none of them are better than Ravnica 2's guildmages.
TLDR: Powerlevel of guildmages goes Ravnica 2 -> Ravnica 3 -> Ravnica 1
10 months ago
There is a difference, but honestly, Guildmages were never playable outside of Limited and maybe a few in commander, but never in standard. There is no difference between tapping and not tapping for the ability, unless you want to activate it two or more times. And if you can afford to activate your guildmage twice in any format, you are probably already winning.
In constructed, even though the guildmages have to tap, I think that it is OK. League Guildmage is great in Limited and both abilities are OK in Standard, where you can never realistically expect to activate the ability twice.
Legion Guildmage having the ability to push early damage with its first ability and late game damage with its second one is exactly what the guild wants to do in Limited.
Selesnya Guildmage is less useful, but your Rosemane Centaurs having trample or not is a really big deal. Heck, your Flight of Equenauts being chumped by a Bird token from Murmuring Mystic feels awful. And the second ability takes over the lategame in a stalemate.
Swarm Guildmage has two very useful abilities. The small ability is useful versus aggro, where golgari really struggles to trade efficiently. The large ability is useful as a game ender. Making Vigorspore Wurm unblockable is a huge deal that has won me multiple games. And in combination with something like Izoni, Thousand-Eyed, it is amazing.
House Guildmage being an instant-speed source of surveil at a good price is incredibly important in the early game to power up your Disinformation Campaign and Dimir Spybug and filtering away lands in the late game. Locking down a powerful creature is an underestimated ability.
TLDR - They have uses which you have chosen to dismiss for unknown reasons. Maybe not as much in commander (though I would still have both Swarm Guildmage and Korozda Guildmage in my izoni deck) though.
10 months ago
It entirely depends on what you want to do most. I would suggest first decide whether you want to mill or surveil. If you want to mill, you will want to either go mono blue or blue/black in a control shell(lots of counter and killspells), with 3 copies of Psychic Corrosion and Patient Rebuilding, with maybe 1 or two copies of Fleet Swallower, but usually mill decks dont rin creatures. If you want to surveil there are two ways you can go. You can go the blue/black discard route, where you play 4 copies of Disinformation Campaign and Thought Erasure, with Unmoored Ego in the sideboard. For creatures you wil want 2 copies Dream Eater, and 4 copies of Doom Whisperer, along with some Nightveil Predator, for 8-9 creatures total. If you are on a budget use more Dream Eater and less or no Doom Whisperer. The rest of the cards will just be killspells and surveil like Discovery / Dispersal and Notion Rain. The other way you can go wth surveil is the creature heavy way with 4 copies of Dimir Spybug, Thoughtbound Phantasm and Nightveil Sprite or House Guildmage. There are lots of other surveil creatures you can add as well, but your main focus would be to make Dimir Spybug or Thoughtbound Phantasm big enough to win you the game.
One final way you can go, that awkwardly enough can combine both mill and surveil in a decent way is to go with blue/black Drowned Secrets and Thief of Sanity and Lazav, the Multifarious. You will want all your spells to have blue in them, so no black only spells. Many of the blue/black spells we have in standard do have something to do with surveil, and you can use surveil to find these key cards so you can mill them real bad.
10 months ago
Do you really want three copies of Disinformation Campaign? It seems really bad if you end up bouncing more than one at a time during a game, especially in the late game, where you're less likely to be causing discard (pay 6 to draw two isn't the best deal). Maybe throw in a House Guildmage for some repeatable surveil and some control? This would be especially helpful when you leave up counter mana, but end up with nothing to counter.
10 months ago
Consider going up to 24 lands, cutting the House Guildmage, Etrata, the Silencer and adding a full set of Doom Whisperer. Etrata, the Silencer can be good, but she'd really only shine with a flicker or bounce mechanic to get her back into your hand or onto the battlefield after she connects.
11 months ago
Yeah, it's great with Doom Whisperer. Even if I end up losing the Whisperer, Lazav becoming it works out well. I am finding that Blood Operative is not working as well as I'd hoped, not a lot of people are scared of a 3/1 with Lifelink. What may go back into the deck are the Nightveil Predators, because people are legitimately scared of a 3/3 hexproof flyer with deathtouch. Also considering, though not as seriously, House Guildmage for the mana-for-surveil, though if Phyrexian mana is any indication of the value of life versus mana, it's more expensive than Doom Whisperer.
House Guildmage occurrence in decks from the last year
Commander / EDH:
All decks: 0.0%