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

landofMordor says... #1

AgentGreen, the vedalken depicted on Powers is Dovin — note he has 6 fingers, unlike Vedalken Dismisser. And the hologram thing he’s facing takes the shape of Bolas’ horns. So I’d go further to say Dovin is Bolas-aligned and pulls a Palpatine to usurp Isperia, then signals Bolas.

December 21, 2018 12:03 p.m.

cdkime says... #2

landofMordor - given how ability words tend to work, it's likely the condition for implicating Addendum will be the same for every card--the card being cast during the main phase. Compare to Threshold, Delirium, Landfall, Devotion, etc.

I suspect the "(mostly)" in the article does not imply there will be other implicating situations for Addendum. My assumption upon reading the article is that Addendum will be found on a couple cards with Flash, as well as some permanents with activated abilities, where Addendum will be implicated if the ability is activated during your main phase.

December 21, 2018 12:12 p.m.

cdkime says... #3

Also, since no one has mentioned this gem:

Incubation/Incongruity

This is going to be a pretty strong card in Limited. Getting to effectively scry 5 and draw a creature is wonderful--I would be inclined to use this card if I was in either Green or Blue, even without the other. Getting to exile a creature at instant speed is wonderful. Having the option to do whichever you want? Outstanding.

December 21, 2018 12:17 p.m.

Agent_Fire says... #4

With the ability word Addendum, it could be on a flash permanent or an activated ability in addition to instants.

December 21, 2018 12:33 p.m.

AgentGreen says... #5

landofMordor I knew that was Dovin, and that he's probably signaling Bolas that he's in place and that things are moving as planned.

Isperia knew what was going on, and Dovin being Dovin (seeing what will happen if Isperia remained breathing), likely had Vraska whack her to keep things going.

Dovin's asset is also his weakness, the only thing he doesn't know is Jace knowing what Bolas has planned and Vraska's memory

December 21, 2018 1:33 p.m.

Coward_Token says... #6

If Dovin is Sheev in this situation, does that make Nicy B Darth Jar Jar?

December 21, 2018 2:31 p.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #7

I do very much the new Azorius ability, as it was inspired by a cycle of cards from Time Spiral that were instants, but provided bonuses if their controllers cast it during their main phase.

So, Dovin Baan know who Bolas is and is working for him? I am displeased to learn that, since Baan seemed to be a fairly decent person in the Kaladesh block.

WotC said that five guilds would fall under Bolas's influence, and that they would have planeswalkers, but I highly doubt that the Gruul shall be one of those guilds, because they are too wild and unpredictable, a complete opposite of the calm and calculating Bolas.

hydrothermia, yes, that is understandable, but power should determine rarity, not the other way around. Rarity matters only when opening booster packs; it has no effect upon gameplay.

December 21, 2018 4:41 p.m.

landofMordor says... #8

AgentGreen oooh that’s a cool take on it! I bet you’re right. Dovin is bad news for most of the Gatewatch, though, since he worked with them on Kaladesh.

I wonder why Dovin is on Bolas’ side? Is it one of those “misguided trust in dictators to alleviate chaos” moves?

December 21, 2018 5:02 p.m.

AgentGreen says... #9

DemonDragonJ They have a walker in Dormi Rade; and it will be very easy for Bolas to manipulate him into being the strongest. Gruul follows the strong. Plus, Maro is on record that the 5 guilds that fall to Bolas will each be lead by a walker.

Dovin leads the Azorius, Vraska leads the Golgari, Ral leads the Izzet, Kayla leads the Orzhov, and Dormi leads the Gruul.

landofMordor My guess; Dovin can see everything but couldn't see Bolas and Tezzeret's intention back on Kaladesh; and I have my strong suspicions that either Dovin is doing this as a F U to Jace and the Gatewatch for defeating the Consulate on Kaladesh, or he is being blackmailed by Tezzeret and Bolas

December 21, 2018 9:53 p.m.

cdkime: so we have Commune with Nature and Rapid Hybridization on one card. That is pretty powerful indeed. The naming is terrible though.

December 22, 2018 1:13 a.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #11

I forgot to comment on the specific cards that WotC revealed, today: sphinx's insight is almost entirely worse than Sphinx's Revelation, but it is not terrible, either, although I believe that 4 life would have made it worth casting during one's own main phase; 2 life is not worth sacrificing instant speed, in my mind.

Emergency powers is a very nice variant of Timetwister and Time Reversal (although I personally believe that it is one mana too expensive), and I would never be sad to have it in my hand. Also, is it safe to presume that its addendum effect happens after its controller has drawn the cards fro its first effect?

AgentGreen, on Mirrodin, red was the color that was most resistant to Phyrexia's influence, because it is the color of chaos and freedom, concepts that the controlling and orderly Phyrexia cannot comprehend. Bolas has red as one of his colors, but green is a color that is an antithesis to him (the other being white), because he despises nature and seeks to strictly control everything, so it makes little sense to me that someone who schemes and plans on a scale so grand that few mortal can comprehend it would at all be interested in a disorganized clan who only care about smashing things and when their next meal is.

seshiro_of_the_orochi, neither blue nor green are supposed to be able to outright destroy or exile creatures, so that card is a severe bend of the color pie, if not an outright break; it does not matter that it gives the controller of that creature a token in exchange, blue and green are not supposed to be able to remove creatures like that. The color-appropriate wording would be "target creature loses all abilities and becomes a 3/3 green frog lizard ."

December 22, 2018 1:40 a.m.

saj0219 says... #12

Pongify, Rapid Hybridization, Reality Shift, Curse of the Swine... I’m sure I’m forgetting some

December 22, 2018 7:10 a.m.

sylvannos says... #13

The problem with Emergency Powers is that I want to play it in my deck with Nexus of Fate...but that's at least 5 7+ CMC spells.

Casting 2x Nexus of Fate, untap on the first turn and main phase Emergency Powers, dump Teferi, Hero of Dominaria into play, then take another turn where I use the rest of my 7 cards. It's a great way to recycle your win conditions in the event they got countered/removed, especially when Vraska's Contempt rotates out of Standard.

December 22, 2018 8:37 a.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #14

saj0219, all of those card severely bend the color pie, in my mind, because, as I have already stated, blue is not supposed to be able to destroy or exile creatures. Those cards should transform an existing creature into a weaker form, which would be appropriate for blue.

December 22, 2018 9:37 a.m.

From a gameplay and mechanic stand point having cards that permanently change another card without leaving a physical representation of that change are terrible from a gameplay perspective. That’s why these destroy and replacement cards such as Beast Within or Curse of the Swine destroy and exile over permanently changing text on a card. It is perfectly within the game designers right to bend or break color pie (increadibly sparingly in these cases) if it means ensuring better gameplay. On another note just as nothing says black (Ulcerate), white (Smite the Monstrous), or red (Lightning Bolt) have to have unconditional removal for all creatures. Green and blue also can have removal if it’s in the spirtit of the color’s color pie philosophy that it is in. Just as the examples of black, white, and red removal are conditional but adhere to their respective color’s philosophy.

It’s also important that all colors have access to limited answers to other types of cards over sweepingly universal answers or no answers at all if it means “breaking” the color pie. This creates interesting games of magic, rewards card selection, and keeps the game healthy.

This lays out an argument for both the successful game design implementation and adherence to the color pie philosophy for Incongruity.

December 22, 2018 2:04 p.m.

Darkshadow327 says... #16

mymanpotsandpans, I would also say that the aforementioned cards aren't even breaking the color pie. The cards mentioned are very Simic in nature (most are actual Simic cards), and Simic is all about progress/change. Those cards basically embody the idea of making creatures change. You could hit a small creature of yours and make it "evolve" or an opponent's creature and change it into something new.

December 22, 2018 2:15 p.m.

Fully agree with what you said Darkshadow327, just trying to illustrate that if someone thought for some reason they were “breaking” the color pie they really weren’t. What you said also helps to show in the case that when two colors are combined in this case simic color pie philosophy doesn’t have to be absolute. Green and blue are an enemy color pair to begin with and even from a in game universe perspective simic’s U/G behaviors do not need to be perfectly in line with say Ixilan’s U/G interpretation of the color combination.

December 22, 2018 3:09 p.m.

Wow, the "Afterlife" mechanic has me quite excited for my Krav & Regna deck. I also think "Afterlife" will be quite strong in limited since it lessens the effectiveness of the already limited amount of removal.

I just hope we get some creature or enchantment which can grant "Afterlife" to other creatures.

December 23, 2018 12:42 a.m.

AgentGreen says... #19

WOTC gave us a Christmas gift in the form of a reprint.

Absorb

Rare

Counter target spell. You gain 3 life

December 25, 2018 10:44 a.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #20

Yes! At long last, Absorb is being reprinted! And it is now legal in modern, as well (not that I care about that, but it still is nice)! Without any question, I shall purchase copies of it for every deck of mine that contains the colors white and blue. I do wish that Undermine had been reprinted in previous set, but it was reprinted in the modern border several years ago, and perhaps it may yet be reprinted in the third set of this block.

I do definitely believe that that card should have been demoted to an uncommon, since it is not quite sufficiently powerful to be a rare, but this is still a very welcome reprint, indeed.

December 25, 2018 4:16 p.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #21

As a side note, as awesome as the reprint of Absorb is, I do hope that that is not the only counterspell that the Azorius guild has in this set, since the Dimir had only Sinister Sabotage, which is a great card, but it was monocolored, so there were no black/blue counterspells for the Dimir, this time.

Also, I do expect the Simic to have at least one excellent counterspell, as well.

December 25, 2018 4:27 p.m.

dbpunk says... #22

Honestly I hope this means we don't get some really weird Addendum counter spell. Like they've done weird counterspells like Admiral's Orders and they almost never work out.

December 27, 2018 12:34 a.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #23

In the previous set, there was a demon associated with the Dimir guild, for the first time in any Ravnica set, as demons have previously either been members of the Rakdos guild or not associated with any guild. Does this mean that there may eventually be angels in the Azorius or Selesnya guilds, or dragons in the Gruul and Boros guilds?

December 29, 2018 12:35 a.m.

dbpunk says... #24

That's a good flavor point. I think part of it makes sense since demons are a) really big on deals (which makes sense with dimir since they tons of deals in secret for information) and b) Doom Whisperer is a Nightmare in addition to being a demon, and things like Nightmares and horrors are kinda right up Dimir's alley.

Although I don't think we'll get anymore breaking of guild flavor in terms of creature types though.

December 29, 2018 2:12 a.m.

Coward_Token says... #25

Were any Sphinxes officially associated with the Dimir before Guilds? I know Belltower Sphinx was in a themed precon but it seems ambiguous to me whether its guildless or not (like Cerulean Sphinx, see https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/feature/little-home-town-pride-2005-11-02 ).

December 29, 2018 4:42 a.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #26

A new card was just revealed:

Utter Carnage

Casting Cost:

Instant

Spectacle

Choose one:

-All creatures get +4/-4 until end of turn.

-Each player discards their hand.

-Each player loses 7 life.

The casting cost is rather high, but all three effects are very powerful, and, in this color combination, making an opponent lose life to pay the spectacle cost should be easy.

Also, what I personally like about that card is that is causes direct life loss, rather than inflicting damage, so I hope that WotC has realized that damage and life loss are the not the same thing and that both should be kept in the game.

December 29, 2018 9:11 a.m.

saj0219 says... #27

If that’s real, it’s very interesting to think about in a world of shock lands... you may not even need to do anything to be able to pay the spectacle cost.

December 29, 2018 10:44 a.m.

legendofa says... #28

If I may vent about rarities and power level for a second (no new information , just losing another small bit of faith in WotC)...

Compare Frenzied Arynx to Gruul Spellbreaker. Both 3/3s with riot and trample.

The Arynx has ": Frenzied Arynx gets +3/+0 until end of turn." It costs and is common.

The Spellbreaker has "As long as it's your turn, you and Gruul Spellbreaker have hexproof." It costs and is rare.

Am I incorrect in thinking that part-time hexproof is worth a discount compared to overpriced lump-sum firebreathing? I seem to recall that rarity should be a determinant of complexity and draft utility, not of power. Neither additional ability is especially complex, so I don't believe that's a huge factor. Player hexproof can be a significant factor in drafts, so I'll accept that as affecting the rarity, but not the mana costs, especially since it's neither a red nor a green trait. If the mana costs were switched (Arynx at CMC 3 and Spellbreaker at CMC 4), the Arynx would be much more viable in Sealed, the home of commons, and the Spellbreaker wouldn't be so obviously superior. I don't think it's Constructed playabilty would be deeply affected, but I could be wrong.

Basically, why print these two cards together? Just switch the mana costs, and you have a viable common and a solid rare.

December 29, 2018 11:36 a.m.

ZendikariWol says... #29

Well Arynx is a 4/2... though I think that just proves your point more. And also "draft complexity" refers to things that may complicate a draft. One of those things is one player drafting a really strong card. This leads to a necessity for that objectively stronger card to be a rare.

December 29, 2018 2:02 p.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #30

It now seems likely that utter carnage is fake, which disappoints me greatly, as it is a very awesome card.

December 30, 2018 10:32 p.m.

AgentGreen says... #31

Heads up.

Today is the official start of spoiler season

January 2, 2019 9:23 a.m.

Let's set aside the fact that this is a solid card in the mid-game and late game, and instead let's take a gander at that magnificent sub-typing:

January 2, 2019 11:13 a.m.

Why can't this be legendary? This would be even more hilarious.

January 2, 2019 11:19 a.m.

AgentGreen says... #34

Am I the only one who is very disappointed in the new Dovin Baan card?

January 2, 2019 2:40 p.m.

Enral says... #35

DemonDragonJ If utter carnage is a real card I think I just peed myself a little. It's perfect in my Nicol Bolas discard deck. Too bad it's most probably fake.

January 2, 2019 3:03 p.m.

dbpunk says... #36

I don't think the new Dovin is bad. His abilities aren't going to win games but he has the possibility of ulting the turn after you cast him, which is powerful.

January 2, 2019 3:20 p.m.

Agent_Fire says... #37

Dovan doesn't look that bad for a Tempo deck or Bant Tokens

January 2, 2019 3:39 p.m.

enter image description here

Love the art, love the flavor. Just wish it wasn't "non-token" creatures.

January 2, 2019 4:31 p.m.

Im actually thinking Dovin is pretty good. He's not the usual azorious control walker, Teferi has that spot on lock.

He's a very aggressive walker. He hits the board early and creates flying threats/blockers and if he hits mid to late game in a go wide strategy you use his +1 to get him to his ult the next turn and refill your likely small hand.

Aggressive and weenie decks always share the same problem which is running out of gas. I think he fits nicely in an azorious aggro shell since with his -1 he isn't replacing a creature. While at the same time hes the mid to late draw you can use to get what you need to close out a game.

January 2, 2019 4:41 p.m.

FSims81 says... #40

LittleBlueHero I honestly am looking forward to trying to fit Judith into my Rakdos Sac deck Treasonous Ogre

January 2, 2019 4:53 p.m.

FSims81 don't get me wrong she's still really good for the cost I just really wanted to play jund saprolings in standard with her and Slimefoot, the Stowaway :(

January 2, 2019 5:08 p.m.

Darkshadow327 says... #42

Is it just me, or do all the lands look pretty sweet too.

The new Kaya is interesting, I can't wait to see what the new Teysa looks like

January 2, 2019 5:59 p.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #43

Some excellent cards have been revealed, today.

We all knew that the remaining five shocklands would be reprinted, but it is still nice to have confirmation of that, and I also like the artwork and flavor text on the guildgates and lockets, as well.

I really wish that the new Kaya caused life loss instead of dealing damage, but it seems that WotC no longer likes direct life loss, for some reason.

January 2, 2019 6:45 p.m.

Darkshadow327 says... #44

I agree DemonDragonJ, definitely some good stuff today. Loving the flavor text we have seen so far.

Maybe damage is from WOTC not liking life loss, or maybe it's because Kaya isn't truly Orzhov. Either way I'm happy with how Kaya turned out, she's a decent walker for 3 CMC.

January 2, 2019 8:34 p.m.

So are we going to ignore the Azorius midrange planeswalker deck that just appeared in Standard?

New Dovin -> Karn, Scion of Urza -> Tezzeret, Artifice Master

They all even play off of each other. It probably won't be very good, but it's suuuper spicy.

Also, for those wondering about Dovin:

and here is the new Kaya that was mentioned:

Deputy of Detention is no Detention Sphere, but it could be good anti-token tech:

January 2, 2019 10:11 p.m.

Boza says... #46

Also, we now know for sure that the bolas aligned guilds are Gruul, Orzhov and azorious (Domri rade art was spoiled previously). Simic and Rakdos, curiously enough, join the resistance.

Also, Dovin Baan is a very sweet planeswalker. Kaya is dissapointing.

January 3, 2019 2:59 a.m.

ZendikariWol says... #47

Hate to toot my own horn but...

Called it!

January 3, 2019 8:30 a.m.

Phaetion says... #48

My Xenagos deck was drooling over this...until I read "At the beginning of your upkeep." So sad...

enter image description here

January 3, 2019 8:37 a.m.

Boza says... #49

It still works well with Xenagos, since it reveals and doubles its power on upkeep, while Xenagos gives power and trample at the beginning of combat. Amplifire will always have 4x the power of whatever you revealed. If you reveal a Worldspine Wurm, amplifire will attack as a 60 power creature.

January 3, 2019 8:56 a.m.

Phaetion says... #50

Boza: But it has to survive an entire turn cycle before it can do its thing. The card is a giant telegraph the size of the Empire State Building, screaming "Kill me!"

EDIT: And Xenagos gives haste,not trample.

January 3, 2019 8:59 a.m.

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