Ravnica Allegiance: Spoilers and Speculation

Spoilers, Rumors, and Speculation forum

Posted on Dec. 17, 2018, 11:52 a.m. by AgentGreen

https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/card-preview/ravnica-allegiance-promos-and-packaging-2018-12-17

Let's start the talking now :D

Coward_Token says... #2

Don't forget to include the mechanics article in the OP, esp. since it's going to be continually updated.

Someone else beat me to pointing out neo-Lavinia's synergy with some group hug cards in EDH: http://tappedout.net/mtg-forum/commander-deck-help/looking-for-more-cards-like-knowledge-pool-ravnica-allegiance-spoilers/

The Simic continue to not disappoint with their Ascendancy; alt win cons that actually do something are always neat, and this one is damn cheap to boot. Animar, Soul of Elements,Kumena, Tyrant of Orazca & Atraxa, Praetors' Voice can all trigger growth at a fast rate. (Note that the card has a "one or more" rider, so e.g. Ezuri, Claw of Progress won't be quite as explosive as he could be.)

December 17, 2018 12:08 p.m.

cdkime says... #3

To provide another useful link: here is the mechanics article.

At the time of this post, the only mechanic spoiled is Spectacle - Rakdos' signature ability. Spectacle is an alternate cost that can be paid if an opponent has lost life this turn.

Spectacle works both ways--it can decrease cost, allowing you to get a card for cheap, or it can increase cost and have additional effects if cast for the Spectacle cost.

Given Rakdos' pertinence for burn, haste, etc. this could be a very powerful ability in Limited. It gives you creatures you can play early that have relevance in the later game; and creatures that otherwise would come out late early in the game. These are draws that can be relevant at any point in the game, making them very solid for a more inconsistent Limited deck.

Can't wait to see Orzhov's and Azorius' abilities. Those are the guilds I am looking forward to most.

December 17, 2018 12:11 p.m.

pskinn01 says... #4

Coward_Token the clause on the ascendancy does work explosively with Ezuri, as the clause states to put that many counters on it, so Ezuri puts 10 on a creature, The ascendancy gets 10 counters on it. With doubling season out, you need only 5 experience to end up with 20 counters. Ezuri puts 5 counters on a creature which becomes 10, ascendancy gets 10 counters, so it becomes 20.

December 17, 2018 2:13 p.m.

LittleBlueHero says... #5

Im excited that the Haunt of Hightower is Legendary... I am sad that a card named Haunt isn't a spirit. Oh well.

December 17, 2018 2:36 p.m.

LittleBlueHero says... #6

Ok so i have no idea why the Haunt of Hightower has taken over my brain but it has.

I know the card isn't inherently "good" but I think it could be a fun finisher in a Dimir aggro/mill deck. A deck where the objective is to win through damage first and mill as a backup. It plays nice with Thief of Sanity and Psychic Corrosion and that other blue enchantment that mills 4 when you attack...

Its lifelink could help keep you in the game long enough to win once he hits since most mill decks will take a good chunk of damage. Hes still a 6 mana card that does nothing the turn he hits but with blue you should be able to keep him around a turn and if the deck has the proper pieces in place hell be swinging as a 6/6 flying lifelinker (or bigger) the following turn.

My other thought is a Rakdos hand control deck assuming that between gruul and rakdos we get at least one decent haste enabler in red.

Why does this card seem like so much fun?

December 17, 2018 2:48 p.m.

landofMordor says... #7

Light up the Stage and Growth Spiral both seem like simple, powerful role-players. I have to say, Rakdos got a sweet mechanic this time around! Makes up for the feel-bads of Hellbent I guess(:

December 17, 2018 3:23 p.m.

AgentGreen says... #8

Growth Spiral is a gross card for Simic, Ramp for a card at instant speed is NASTY

December 17, 2018 3:35 p.m.

Coward_Token says... #9

pskinn01: Ooooo, nice catch. I guess I just saw the rider and assumed the usual R&D conservatism.

December 17, 2018 3:47 p.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #10

I definitely am very fond of the new spectacle mechanic,as it is similar to both bloodthirst and prowl, but is superior to both because of its versatility. On the other hand, the new Orzhov mechanic, afterlife, is very bland and unimaginative, which disappoints me greatly, as they are my favorite guild.

The Haunt of Hightower is very nice, but I do not recall there ever being a monocolored legendary creature in a Ravnica set before, so I wodner why WotC did that; also, I fele that it would make more sense from a flavor perspective if it were a specter, since its abilities are exactly those for which specters are well-known.

December 17, 2018 10:19 p.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #11

I accidentally made my previous post before I had typed everything that I intended to type.

Simic ascendancy would be very awesome in my Atraxa EDH deck, but I am not certain that I could fit it into that deck, since the deck is already nearly finished, and growth spiral is very awesome, as well, and I think that it may be too powerful for only two mana.

I was hoping that the Orzhov guild would have its own equivalent of Assassin's Trophy, but a reprint of Mortify is still very nice, especially with the awesome new art, since that means that I can now have four copies of it in my black/white deck, with each copy having different artwork.

I also am very fond of gate colossus, as it is another card that makes gates relevant. I do not use any gates in any of my decks, but I am very glad that the gate subtype is not useless, and, on the subject of gates, I am very eager to see the new artwork on the guildgates in this set.

December 17, 2018 10:54 p.m.

AgentGreen says... #12

New Mechanic for Orzhov: Afterlife. When a creature with Afterlife dies, create a 1/1 spirit token with flying.

Unless Orzhov comes with upside for spirits, this mechanic is a "meh"

December 18, 2018 11:16 a.m.

That mechanic is anything but meh.

If you noticed on the spoiled card it said Afterlife 1. Which means we will be seeing cards that make more than one spirit when they die. Its also an amazing mechanic for building aristocrats, sac benefit, get a token to sac for more benefit.

i could also see a blue white black esper spirits deck with Supreme Phantom and Favorable Winds.

Also the fact that you get a 1/1 with evasion when it dies means that killing it with targeted removal becomes card disadvantage.

All in all I really like Afterlife.

December 18, 2018 11:26 a.m.

AgentGreen says... #14

Looking at it that way it makes sense and can get quite annoying

December 18, 2018 11:33 a.m.

landofMordor says... #15

I'm with LittleBlueHero on Afterlife -- it's a simple mechanic, but strong and rich. Pretty Standard-playable, I'm guessing, and for Eternal formats, I'm personally pretty excited to update my Pox and Spirit tribal archetypes in my cube.

December 18, 2018 11:45 a.m.

ZendikariWol says... #16

Okay so I have... mixed feelings about afterlife. I like it, sure... but I just wish they had chosen a different way of conveying the same flavor. For example...? Imma throw out a few ideas and see if any are good.

Afterlife: , exile this card from a graveyard: create a token that is a copy of this creature. It loses all its other types and becomes a spirit creature.

Afterlife: When this creature dies, instead it loses all its types and becomes a spirit enchantment (note- it is no longer a creature). Then, put three time counters on it. Remove one at the beginning of your end step. It dies after the last counter is removed. (This version is my favorite, in theory, I'd actually love to see it applied on Theros, but Ravnica works too)

Afterlife: When this creature dies, create a copy of it. That copy is a 0/1 spirit creature token.

Finally, just use haunt!! I love the idea of haunt, and I really wish that they had done something more interesting and clever with it. It sucks that it always ended up functioning as an additional ETB effect. What if there were a card that triggered haunt on upkeeps until the haunted creature dies. In fact, here's an idea!

Servitude: When this creature dies, exile it bound to a creature you control. This creature and the creature it's bound to have X.

Make it function kind of like an anti-bestow. I know that feels weird mechanically, but isn't it perfect, flavor-wise?

December 18, 2018 3:16 p.m.

ZendikariWol

Some constructive criticisms:

Your first example is basically the same as eternalize except potentially worse because the creature isn't automatically a 4/4

Your second example is too complicated for a keyworded ability. Not to mention it doesn't do anything unless a creature has a static global effect or an activated ability. If a 2/2 Lifelinker had this ability it would come back as an enchantment that did nothing for three turns. I don't think there are enough slots for majority of a guilds creatures to all have activated abilities or global effects like "creatures you control get +1/+1" to make this work

Personally I think the idea sounds a lot like the flip card from Ixalan except instead of turning into legendary lands you are turning them into legendary enchantments that for some reason blow up after 3 turns. Id much rather see it as a cycle like those lands where the enchantments didn't blow up.

Your third idea is more plausible for a keyword ability but I don't see how its much better than what we have. Sure it would mean you could get a second etb trigger if the creature had one, but then the abilities would be dumbed down to take that into account.

For example lets use afterlife. If a creature with your version was say a 1/1 for 1W that said when this creature dies put a 1/1 spirit token into play. for 2 mana you would get 4 creatures... so a relatively underwhelming ability becomes way overpowered.

I too liked haunt and felt it was underwhelming in its usage.

I think servitude is the a flavor win for sure. Its super situational as far as gameplay would be concerned but you're absolutely right that its on flavor for the guild.

Hope none of that came off as arrogant or a bash on you, I love trying to come up with my own abilities and cards too. What I have found from other people reviewing things I made is that thinking like Wizards is way harder than I want to admit lol.

December 18, 2018 6:59 p.m.

cdkime says... #18

Aftermath seems like a fine mechanic, particularly for Limited, as fliers are always at a premium.

I expect there will be a deck resolving around sacrificing your own creatures, and that either the Orzhov guildleader or second will have self-sacrificing as an ability. Considering the guild, that’s probably the least novel prediction one could make.

I expect we will see a couple “whenever a creature enters the battlefield” cards to capitalise on this ability.

It’s a fine mechanic, but, somewhat ironically, I feel it lacks soul. Nothing about it, on its face, inspires me to want to build with it - but that might change as more cards are spoiled.

December 18, 2018 7:40 p.m.

tpmains says... #19

I'm rather excited to pair Simic Ascendancy with Path of Discovery. Add in Jadelight Ranger, Merfolk Branchwalker, Wildgrowth Walker, and Shadowed Caravel to really get the counters going.

December 18, 2018 7:40 p.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #20

tpmains, do not forget about Archangel of Thune and Doubling Season.

December 18, 2018 9:19 p.m.

tpmains says... #21

DemonDragonJ I was just talking about Standard, but things get even better when you talk about older formats.

December 18, 2018 9:55 p.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #22

tpmains, I see; the only time that I ever play a limited format is at prerelease events, so I am not familiar with standard.

December 18, 2018 10:57 p.m.

ZendikariWol says... #23

LittleBlueHero

I... honestly kinda knew those problems going in and writing these. Idk, I was unsatisfied by afterlife but anything else I thought of seemed like it had either been done or reasonably couldn't be. This is a problem with Magic that I've long anticipated. Needing to design another few mechanics every set can't really go on forever.

Anyhow, I agree that servitude has a ways to go, how do you think it could be improved?

December 18, 2018 11:57 p.m.

AgentGreen says... #24

Simic's new mechanic is out...and it's scary AF

Adapt. Pay a cost and put X number of +1/+1 counters on that creature where X is the Adapt value.

Merfolk has gotten way scarier now

December 19, 2018 12:07 p.m.

AgentGreen says... #25

One caveat with Adapt; you can only activate it if said creature has no +1/+1 counters on it

December 19, 2018 12:14 p.m.

ZendikariWol says... #26

Not gonna lie, none of these really feel like flavor wins... unless.

Unless simic goes back a little and does some counter-removal synergies. Think about it- they hinted at it in the video, and it works perfectly with the theme of the mechanic! I would be SO much more excited for Adapt (though it still seems absurdly overcosted) if we could activate it more than once on a given creature.

December 19, 2018 12:25 p.m.

Phaetion says... #27

Too bad Zegana's a bit on the meh side. That first ability should've been better.

Oh well, I'm holding out for a Gruul legendary akin to Xenagos, God of Revels and an equally aggressive mechanic.

December 19, 2018 3:10 p.m.

AgentGreen says... #28

Rakdos so far looks fine; I can lock it down, wonder what....check's MTG's twitter feed

SON OF A B**** (Control player here)

Bedevil

Instant

Rare

Destroy Target artifact, creature, or planeswalker

December 19, 2018 3:22 p.m.

saj0219 says... #29

The question with bedevil is: is the added artifact target worth the third colored mana (thinking about this in comparison with Hero's Downfall). I feel like the answer is yes if you're already in BR...

December 19, 2018 5:25 p.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #30

The new Simic keyword is definitely the least interesting and my least favorite of the three keywords that that guild has had, and I am tempted to dismiss it as merely a copy of monstrous from Theros, but it is slightly better in that it can (theoretically) be used multiple times, with the proper strategies; I do hope that there are at least some creatures that have abilities that trigger when their adapt ability is used (as was the case with various creatures in the Theros block).

Also, bedevil is a seriously awesome card; one more mana over Terminate to be able to destroy artifacts and planeswalkers, or one more mana over Dreadbore to gain instant speed and the ability to destroy artifacts is insanely good, and I definitely shall be purchasing copies of it for my black/red deck, although I shall still keep Wrecking Ball in that deck, because instant-speed land destruction is obviously a very powerful tool to have.

December 19, 2018 6:02 p.m.

AgentGreen says... #31

For Rakdos players, to be able to have up to 8 different ways to whack planeswalkers at instant speed makes them a removal powerhouse.

However, I feel Rakdos was already in that category

December 19, 2018 8:54 p.m.

Darkshadow327 says... #32

AgentGreen

Ya, Rakdos definitely has always been good about Rakdos. The only problem I have with them (and this is more of a personal playstyle preference) is that they have a tendency to discard their cards.

I'm definitely really scared to see Azorius' ability, I have a feeling that it's gonna be mean.

December 19, 2018 10:54 p.m.

AgentGreen says... #33

Darkshadow327 I'm not. In fact, I can't wait to see what Azorius has in store. They already have a creature that forces you to play fair, what else do they have?

December 20, 2018 7:19 a.m.

sylvannos says... #34

I didn't even think of this until someone else commented:

Lavinia, Azorius Renegade counters moxen. And Memnites/Ornithopters.

December 20, 2018 8:09 a.m.

AgentGreen says... #35

Gruul clans had their mechanic up

Riot: A creature with Riot enters the battlefield with either a +1/+1 counter or haste

December 20, 2018 11:28 a.m.

ZendikariWol says... #36

This one I like. The flavor is accuract, the mechanic is playable, fine in constructed, pretty great in limited.

December 20, 2018 12:04 p.m.

DemonDragonJ compared adapt to monstrous. Looking at the "creatures with +1/+1 counters gain...", parallels to outlast could be drawn as well.

Seen this way, riot seems like they took the best card with tribute (Fanatic of Xenagos) and made a gruul mechanic out of it. Pretty awesome.

December 20, 2018 12:23 p.m.

ZendikariWol says... #38

Side rant: I love the idea of tribute. It's tough to cost, but it's bursting with flavor and it was very creative, and I love giving opponents tough choices.

But anyway. Riot is the first mechanic so far I've been like okay. This is really cool. In fact, I have a naya +1 counter deck that could use it to great effect. I actually think it's a stronger mechanic than adapt for +1 counters, though I could be proven wrong if adapt costs get much, much cheaper.

December 20, 2018 12:38 p.m.

AgentGreen says... #39

I wonder if we're going to see a return of Detain

Why save Azorius last with 4 new mechanics

December 20, 2018 1:44 p.m.

Darkshadow327 says... #40

Possibly, or they are just trying to get us psyched and have a cool mechanic lined up for Azorius.

I like riot though, really in flavor for Gruul and is a nice mechanic.

December 20, 2018 5:59 p.m.

Ruffigan says... #41

A little late to the party, but I like that Afterlife is a throwback to Afterlife flavor wise.

December 20, 2018 6:55 p.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #42

I definitely like the new Gruul mechanic, riot; again, as with the Simic, it is the least interesting of the three mechanics that that guild has had, but it is an improvement upon unleash in the same way that adapt is an improvement upon monstrous.

However, why is frenzied arynx's ability so expensive to activate? Using both Shivan Dragon and Two-Headed Dragon as examples, the arynx's ability should have cost only 3 mana to activate.

December 20, 2018 11:17 p.m.

hydrothermia says... #43

@DemonDragonJ

Frenzied Arynx is likely that way due to it being a common. It's still technically the same, you break it down it still equals two mana for each +1/+0. If it were a rare it would likely be a activation. Both examples you give are rares in comparison.

December 20, 2018 11:37 p.m.

Dovin Baan and Domri Rade!! Woo hoo! Hope there’re also main set versions that are new iterations of them both!

December 21, 2018 4:16 a.m.

Boza says... #45

Frenzied Arynx's ability costs 6 because:

1/ It has some form of evasion (trample) that really benefits from extra power.

2/ It is a decent rate for the abilty.

3/ The initial creature has a lower cost than both dragons mentioned. Putting actual Firebreathing on that efficient of a midrange creature (4/4 for 4) is very dangerous in limited. It is in that sweet spot where it is already baseline powerful at its cost. Making the ability cost less, for example "GR:This gets +1/+0 until EOT." Would have made the creature incredibly more powerful.

December 21, 2018 4:34 a.m.

I am training for an RPTQ for Mythic Championship London, and am creating a card-by-card set review of Ravnica Allegiance for both limited and standard, with most cards being rated the day they are spoiled. Check it out here. I would love to see what everyone else thinks, so please comment to the Google Doc (or this post, if you can do that on tapped out; I'm new to it). Please do not suggest a change in rating without an explanation.

December 21, 2018 8:04 a.m.

landofMordor says... #47

I’m actually quite happy that Our mechanics so far are flavorful despite being pretty simple. It’s a strong sign that WotC put their “complexity budget” into synergies instead: the draft build-arounds, powerful uncommons, and rares that will make these mechanics shine. For example, we’ve already mentioned a theme of removing counters, but maybe we’ll see other synergies like Primal Forcemage or other hasty stuff for Gruul and Rakdos. We’ll have to see how the rest of the spoilers shake out, but overall I’m very optimistic.

December 21, 2018 8:19 a.m.

cdkime says... #48

Azorius' ability word is Addendum. It provides bonus abilities if the card is cast during your main phase. I am looking forward to seeing what bonus abilities will be offered--Azorius is, far and away, my favourite guild, and the one I will probably choose for prerelease.

December 21, 2018 11:16 a.m.

AgentGreen says... #49

The card Emergency Powers is flavor win

If cast during the main phase; after you do its effect, you drop a card with CMC of 7 or less; and it's a Story Spotlight

It's pretty much confirmed Bolas is coming in April

December 21, 2018 11:32 a.m.

landofMordor says... #50

Actually cdkime, Addendum is inherently meaningless — it’s just a marker. The article said most Addenda would be on instants, like you said, but there’s no restriction on card types or on the condition for the Addendum to occur. So it’s better than we’d initially assume(:

December 21, 2018 11:59 a.m.

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