Guilds of Ravnica: Spoilers and Speculation

Spoilers, Rumors, and Speculation forum

Posted on Aug. 27, 2018, 12:04 p.m. by landofMordor

It's spoiler season!

There have been a few recent threads talking about new cards we might see in the new Guilds of Ravnica, but there's no central location yet.

So, enjoy: please discuss official spoilers as they become available, and until then, throw your hat in the ring for characters/cards/mechanics you think we'll see!

landofMordor says... #2

My prediction: a new Vraska planeswalker, appearances of Mazirek and Teysa, cycles of legendaries (my guess is 2 per guild, including the guild leaders MaRo has mentioned, and at least 1 more per color). I further think we'll see the return of Shocklands (or at least Karoos) and hybrid mana.

My hope (though currently unconfirmed) is that we'll also see some innovation on the multicolor theme of Ravnica. MaRo's most recent article talked about how difficult it was to continue to innovate in RTR after the success of OG Ravnica. I'm confident WotC will find a way to honor the successes of Ravnica while still managing to surprise us!

August 27, 2018 12:09 p.m.

Phaetion says... #3

My guess, if the artbook leak was any indication, is that we'll get a new Tamiyo. Perhaps because the Story Circle joins the fray.

Shocks and hybrids are a given, but what would be cool to see again is an aura subtheme. This was prominent in the first Ravnica block (Bramble Elemental, Gate Hound, and Flight of Fancy as examples). Idk, I'm a sucker for enchantments and auras, but I'd love to see this happen, even if it's a small theme.

August 27, 2018 12:51 p.m.

dbpunk says... #4

My guess is there might be a small creatures matter theme for one of the guilds.

August 27, 2018 1:04 p.m.

MindAblaze says... #5

Last time around they made the effort to have the guild mechanics play well with the original visit, so I’m interested to see if they keep that up.

August 27, 2018 1:12 p.m.

shadow63 says... #6

I wanna see the nephilim return

August 27, 2018 1:33 p.m.

landofMordor says... #7

Phaetion, Tamiyo would be fascinating! I do think we'll have a lot of PW-matters in this set, not least because our heroes will be fighting the agents of Bolas! And I wouldn't be surprised by Aura-matters cards either, given the new Satyr Enchanter and friends.

MindAblaze, I agree. Of the guilds we'll see in GRN (Dimir, Golgari, Boros, Selesnya, Izzet), it's easy to assume that we'll have a RW combat-focused mechanic, a BG grave-focused mechanic, and a WG weenies focus. For me, the real mystery is what we'll see with Dimir and Izzet. Izzet's color identity really encompasses more than just spells-matter, and both of Dimir's guild mechanics have been weak and not-well-liked. So I think that might be where we see some good innovation on what it means to be Izzet or Dimir.

August 27, 2018 3:11 p.m.

MindAblaze says... #8

Ral Zarek is under Bolas’ thumb, and so is Tezzeret, so hopefully they don’t theme Dimir and Izzet around those two guys too much.

August 27, 2018 3:37 p.m.

dbpunk says... #9

Honestly the past few years they've had push for more artifact based things instead of the spellslinger style play of the original Izzet guilds so maybe they'll incorporate that a bit more?

August 27, 2018 4:30 p.m.

saj0219 says... #10

I’m pulling for a third Niv-Mizzet myself (and the presence of both him and Ral so prominently in Izzet gives me hope that we’ll see a return to spell slinging ways even if neither of them get a card... the guild is too established in that vein to suddenly become all about artifacts)

August 27, 2018 7:18 p.m.

Gidgetimer says... #11

Is it too much to hope that the guilds get a hold of Jace and kill him for becoming the living guildpact to guarantee the safety and balance of Ravnica and then immediately peacing out so that he could pull a Gilderoy Lockhart and take credit for Tamiyo's work.

August 27, 2018 9:49 p.m.

landofMordor says... #12

Well, saj0219/dbpunk, we have had some Izzet-guild artifact cards in the past, such as Mizzium Transreliquat, but I do think it's more likely that we see spell-slinging support.

I was thinking more about this yesterday -- what returning mechanics do we expect to see?

I was thinking Battlecry could be a returning keyword for the Boros. But here's my biggest prediction: I think WotC will give a one-word ability to the Dimir that will become evergreen if it's well-liked. UB is still the color pair with the least overlap in terms of keyworded abilities, and this seems like the place to swing for the fences.

August 28, 2018 7:51 a.m.

Chasmolinker says... #13

I'd like to see a fixed Deathrite Shaman

August 28, 2018 9:36 a.m.

Chasmolinker says... #14

And a card that mimics the ability of Varolz, the Scar-Striped so that my scavenge deck can be more consistent.

August 28, 2018 9:40 a.m.

landofMordor says... #15

No kidding! "Deathrite Apprentice", 2 mana for a 1/1 or something (: just barely good enough to see play but not so good it gets banned from every format!

August 28, 2018 10:36 a.m.

Phaetion says... #16

So, we got our Buy-a-Box promo.

enter image description here

And we got some booster pack art. Of importance is Vraska and Ral, who look like they're in the set together.

enter image description here

August 28, 2018 11:22 a.m.

With all the exile effects in standard right now I don't know that the 16/16 indestructible is gonna fly.

Still looks like a lot of fun to build around. too bad chainwhirler eats tokens. actually convoking this dude will be kinda difficult

August 28, 2018 12:05 p.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #18

How is impervious greatwurm even remotely balanced? It is a 16/16 for ten mana with the ability to reduce its casting cost, and no drawback of any form!

I understand that creatures have become more powerful in recent years, but I still do not believe that a creature should have such a massive power/toughness to mana cost ratio without a drawback of some form.

What does everyone else say about this? How is impervious greatwurm even remotely balanced?

August 28, 2018 10:53 p.m.

LeaPlath says... #19

DemonDragonJ it is amusing that whenever these big Timmy cards come out you are like "OMG how are these remotely balanced", as if there aren't a ton of exile effects stapled onto very efficent cards in any format, they lack evasion, and games where you can cast them and actually attack without blocks are not going to be hugely common. Yet you seem to completetly ignore the actual good stuff like Chainwhirler, Hollow One, etc

August 29, 2018 1:32 a.m.

Phaetion says... #20

I bet this happened during design:

WOTC1: "Hey, we need a huge wurm. RTR did have Worldspine Wurm after all.

WOTC2: "Why not make it a BaB promo, bigger than it, and make the artwork more epic? Even bigger than Emrakul too!

WOTC1: "Yes! But what shall we make it?"

WOTC2: "Make it a 16/16 with Convoke and Indestructible!"

WOTC1: "Brilliant! This will sell boxes!"

August 29, 2018 8:39 a.m. Edited.

Chasmolinker says... #21

If it were casted it would be more balanced. Hell, give it a Force of Nature style cumulative upkeep for laughs.

At least they re-printed Essence Scatter :P

August 29, 2018 9:05 a.m. Edited.

landofMordor says... #22

Chasmolinker, that is why counterspells are my favorite.

LeaPlath, maybe Demon's point is that the power creep of creatures is pretty obvious, especially at higher CMC. From Craw Wurm to Alpha Tyrranax to Colossal Dreadmaw is a pretty big jump, and this new guy is just the latest variation on a theme. Granted, that's because creatures have kinda needed to get better, and stats alone won't make the Greatwurm good, but it is the latest example of an obvious trend in power level.

August 29, 2018 10:04 a.m.

landofMordor says... #23

Phaetion I bet it went exactly like that, lol. Though, in all seriousness, 16/16 is the biggest black-bordered creature ever. That it happened on our return to Ravnica can't be a coincidence.

August 29, 2018 10:07 a.m.

Chasmolinker says... #24

I am interested to see convoke back. It's a solid mechanic and they seem to like it with Improvise being a thing.

August 29, 2018 10:14 a.m.

Sarkhan420 says... #25

landofMordor: i think you mean "battalion", not "battlecry".

August 29, 2018 10:26 a.m.

landofMordor says... #26

Sarkhan420, actually, I meant Battlecry. I was thinking about what mechanics might be repurposed for guilds, and Battlecry seems like a natural fit. But I wouldn't be mad if Battalion returned instead (:

August 29, 2018 11:15 a.m.

dbpunk says... #27

Honestly the new wurm seems interesting, and I like how green is getting more "this creature costs less" effects for big things. Although honestly, I feel like making Convoke the next keyword for selesnya is going to suck like hell to play against, I'm honestly hoping for some really cool cards to come out with this.

Also, it could've been worse than indestructible. Imagine if it had been trample or hexproof as well.

August 29, 2018 11:21 a.m.

Convoke is such a goofy mechanic.

I need to go wide so I can go tall!

The greatwurm is more balanced than it seems primarily because of that. Sure I can tap 7 creatures and cast it for three... but lets say it gets countered or exiled upon resolution. Now I am likely completely exposed. Its possible I have mana back for a fog effect but not a sure thing.

If that card sticks and you can get it trample (or just play Thud) its gonna win the game pretty quick. Without trample though its just a resource intensive fatty. At least with Ghalta im not leaving myself wide open if she gets countered. Also with whirler in the meta getting 7 creatures out is not going to be so easy.

August 29, 2018 12:26 p.m.

Phaetion says... #29

landofMordor: You just made Marit Lage (Dark Depths) cry. :P

There would be two reasons I'd play this card: Grothama, All-Devouring in a wurm tribal deck, or Xenagos, God of Revels.

August 29, 2018 2:40 p.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #30

LeaPlath, I have long been under the impression that the rule was that a creature's power and toughness could not exceed its converted mana cost unless it had a drawback of some form; when did that change?

August 29, 2018 5:27 p.m.

landofMordor says... #31

Phaetion, nooooooo! I looked up Scryfall creature cards only (; I guess I'm only half-wrong?

LittleBlueHero, I'm with you there! Convoke is hard to use well. I prefer it with things like Chief Engineer or Chord of Calling, where you're not necessarily losing so much tempo as casting an evasionless fatty.

DemonDragonJ, the P/T-to-CMC ratio is a quick and dirty way to evaluate the stats of a creature, especially in Limited. It's pretty accurate in the commons/uncommons like Thallid Omnivore and Stronghold Confessor, but the metric breaks down a little bit considering a) creatures really have gotten better since the Craw Wurm days, b) abilities and keywords make them harder to evaluate, and c) it's not a hard-and-fast design rule. Also, once you get past 6 CMC, the rule of thumb begins to break down anyways, because of the diminishing returns of increasing P/T.

August 29, 2018 5:51 p.m.

Sarkhan420 says... #32

landofMordor: your original comment didn't say anything about "repurposing". it specifically said "returning". battlecry can't "return" to boros, because its never "been" boros.

August 29, 2018 7:53 p.m.

Sarkhan420 says... #33

DemonDragonJ: the "rule" that "a creatures power and toughness cant exceed its mana cost without a drawback" has never existed. so technically, it never changed. if anything, the rule has been the opposite. a p/t equal to the mana cost of a creature is a good start. a p/t below the mana cost is generally bad without a really good effect attached to it. you also have to remember that big creatures is green's main thing. see Leatherback Baloth.

August 29, 2018 7:57 p.m.

Sarkhan420 says... #34

LittleBlueHero: you could also tap 10 creatures and cast it for 0 mana.

August 29, 2018 7:59 p.m.

BajungaDustin says... #35

Yeah the rule for creatures power/toughness not surpassing its cmc has never been a thing.

You will find that there are is a general cmc "pricing theme" this scales with the amount of projected turns in a game. Im sure wotc knows what an average standard game turn count is and as such prices the cards accordingly.

Such as...

At CMC 1 2 and 3 you will generally find power and toughness in the 1 2 and 3 area. Once you start hitting 4 5 6 the power varies based off the abilities. 7 plus is pretty much free range in terms of power. But it's also hindered in terms of solid colors. So something that is will generally be better than something that is to benefit mono decks a little bit.

August 30, 2018 4 a.m.


You speak truth. However, if I have 10 creatures on the board Im likely swinging with them anyway.

If saproling tokens or elf tokens become a thing I could see a selesnya deck running Radiant Destiny so I can swing with all my dudes then convoke the the wurm in second main just so I am keeping the pressure on and not wasting a turn tapping everything I own for a creature that may not make it back to my next turn :P

August 30, 2018 3:40 p.m.

Wow that wurm looks pretty bad, even with convoke (though I am happy to see that mechanic return). That being said, I love jank, and I am as sure as hell going to try a Sarkhan's Unsealing + Thud combo with it and Ghalta. Maybe even run Doublecast for fun. It's a shame that Fling is rotating with Amonkhet.

August 30, 2018 5:26 p.m.

Also, my bold prediction: Birds of Paradise reprint and regrettably, no shock lands.

August 30, 2018 5:29 p.m.

Sarkhan420 says... #39

Hi_diddly_ho_neighbor: shock lands will almost certainly return in ravnica

August 30, 2018 8:13 p.m.

jchudz says... #40

Saw on reddit that the guild mechanics were announced on twitch. source

Selesnya: Convoke- (Only returning mechanic)

Dimir: Surveil- Surveil is like scry but instead of putting on bottom of library, you put it into your graveyard.

Boros: Mentor- When a creature with Mentor attacks, you put a +1/+1 counter on an attacking creature with less power.

Golgari: Undergrowth- Undergrowth abilities care about the number of dead creatures in your graveyard.

Izzet: Jump-Start- You can cast instants and sorceries with Jump-Start from your graveyard by discarding a card, paying the mana cost and exiling the Jump-started card.

August 30, 2018 8:22 p.m.

Sarkhan420 - Seeing as we have no actual sources stating that yet, I am not getting my hopes up.

Wizards has a terrible track record with reprints lately (just look at the recent commander and master sets). Plus, when we returned to Zendikar, the block that introduced fetch lands, we didn't get any. Wizards has shown that they are perfectly fine with ignoring the most logical times to reprint flavorful and needed cards.

I am intrigued by those mechanics though. Surveil is a definite upgrade to scry.

August 30, 2018 8:36 p.m.

legendofa says... #42

If that Surveil ability is legit, either there had better be some awesome graveyard-y cards with a Dimir mark or people are going to be running , as long as Surveil appears on creatures. If not, I'm going to be disappointed with Dimir again...

August 30, 2018 8:38 p.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #43

jchudz, I do very much like those new mechanics, as they all seem to fit their guilds. However, should not undergrowth care about all cards in its controller's graveyard, not merely creatures?

August 30, 2018 8:43 p.m.

Sarkhan420 says... #44

Hi_diddly_ho_neighbor: fetch lands existed since long before zendikar. they were introduced in onslaught. fetch lands were also reprinted in khans of tarkir, which was only a year before battle for zendikar. so it wouldn't have made sense to reprint them again so soon. shock lands have been in both ravnica blocks. theres no reason not to include them in the 3rd.

August 30, 2018 8:43 p.m.

Sarkhan420 says... #45

legendofa: the way "surveil" is worded, it wouldn't matter if it appeared on creatures. think about it. how could a card "surveil" itself? you cant activate the ability of a card on top of your library. you would be activating the surveil ability of any type of permanent you control, and then putting a creature from the top of your deck to the grave.

August 30, 2018 8:47 p.m.

Sarkhan420 says... #46

DemonDragonJ just because a card cares about the grave, doesn't mean it needs to care about "all" card types in the grave. this isn't new. see Magnivore as an example.

August 30, 2018 8:50 p.m.

jchudz says... #47

I'm not sure how much I like the mentor mechanic. It doesn't sound like it would lend itself to much interesting design space like battalion did.

August 30, 2018 9:52 p.m.

Sarkhan420 says... #48

jchudz: i think mentor actually lends itself to MORE interesting design space than battalion did. battalion was super straightforward. put a bunch of creatures on the field, get a temporary predetermined bonus. +1/+1 counters are permanent and are something you can actually do things with. be thankful Walking Ballista and Winding Constrictor rotate out of standard when Guilds of Ravnica releases. I realize Winding Constrictor isn't boros colors, but it could still have created jund or abzan colored decks using any monocolored cards with the mentor mechanic. of course, there will still be merfolk after rotation, and those already use counters. so i could potentially see temur/bant/jeskai/izzet/azorius decks that use the merfolks who benefit from +1/+1 counters. like Herald of Secret Streams.

August 30, 2018 10:20 p.m.

Sarkhan420 says... #49

legendofa: almost forgot, another possibility is a grixis deck that uses the Surveil mechanic to get instants/sorceries into the graveyard so they can be jump started.

August 30, 2018 10:25 p.m.

legendofa says... #50

Sarkhan420 On my first post, I was thinking about an expected high number of instants and sorceries with surveil--I should have mentioned that. Also, that Grixis surveil/jump-start deck sounds it might be a contender, if they give it the right support.

August 31, 2018 12:13 a.m.

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