The sequel to Guilds of Ravnica and the 80th expansion set in Magic: The Gathering‘s history is due to release on January 25, 2019. Here’s what we know about Ravnica Allegiance (RNA) so far, including any cards in the spoiler, the guilds represented, and cards to speculate on before the full spoiler is released.
The Guilds of Ravnica Allegiance
The first and most crucial thing to know: Ravnica Allegiance‘s Guilds! We know Azorius, Rakdos, Gruul, Simic, and Orzhov will be featured in the second expansion of Guilds of Ravnica block. As Ravnica Allegiance spoiler season progresses, we’ll be releasing a Guild Spotlight for all 5 features factions, highlighting existing cards and mechanics that are poised to benefit from the new releases.
Guild Spotlight: Azorius | Rakdos | Gruul | Simic | Orzhov
Ravnica Allegiance Spoilers
Last Update: Dec 17, 2018, by Edward Eng
Not sure if this is confirmed yet. But it’s another Human, and one that’ll be put up against the same question…is it good enough to replace anything in Modern or Legacy Humans? I’m not quite sure about this one either. It doesn’t really stop your opponents from comboing off their turn which is what they’re going to do most of the time anyways. So what’s does this actually help fight against? Counterspells? Decks that run countermagic usually also run sweepers like Supreme Verdict. But this card also has Afterlife! But is that good enough to warrant a spot in your 75? I dunno.
This is huge. Now we actually know what Spectacle is. With that said, Light Up the Stage seems borderline dangerous. It can go in an aggro deck as well as a burn deck. It can help you find lands or more gas in an aggro deck. But is it good enough to take a spot in something like Modern Burn? I’m not so sure. It’s a pretty bad topdeck which is pretty much an integral part of how the deck functions, so I don’t think it really belongs. But we could see a totally different deck pop up, so keep your eyes peeled. I don’t know if the FNM promos will be under $5. But if they’re anywhere near a couple of bucks, that seems like a really good price to pick them up at. Another note, Gut Shot has risen in price over the past few days to weeks and could rise more because of Light Up the Stage.
Let’s take a look at the other new cards with Spectacle. First up we have…
Rix Maadi Reveler
Will this be decent in Standard? Maybe. Will it be good in Modern or Legacy? Probably not. This might be cast for its Spectacle cost quite a bit in Standard, but I don’t think it’ll happen too much or at all in Modern. Four mana is just a bit too much I think in the older formats. So the real question is…is the loot effect good enough to make it into Modern or Legacy Humans? Probably not. Is it better than Militia Bugler, Dark Confidant, or Thraben Inspector? It’s tough to say, but I think not. It can help smooth out your draws a bit though which might make it playable since the Humans deck doesn’t have too many ways to manipulate its draws or filter out unwanted cards. But the Spectacle cost is just too out of reach I think. It’s not in the primary colors and it costs four mana. And if you are dealing damage to the opponent then casting this for its Spectacle cost, are you just winning more? Maybe. We’ll see.
This is not constructed playable. How is it as a Limited card? Very medium. Feel free to post in the comments below on your rating of this and why on a scale from 1 to 5 with 5 being a first pick.
Lavinia, Azorius Renegade
This is pretty strong card I think. It hoses quite a few things, so it’ll probably see play in the sideboard of Humans in Modern and probably Legacy. Will it make its way into the maindeck? Possibly. Another thing to keep in mind is that this could see play outside of Humans decks too since it’s blue and can be discarded to Force of Will just like Meddling Mage. It’s preorder price is $10 right now though, which I think is probably too high.
Not really sure what to say about this card. Feel free to sound off in the comments below if you have something constructive to say about this card though.
Although I mentioned that Humans could potentially be on the downturn in Modern in my MTG Metagame Finance #23 article, this is a good reminder that it’ll be a top-tier contender for a while as Wizards keeps printing new Humans.
But is this good enough to make the cut? I doubt it, but I could be wrong. First off, the casting cost is pretty tough even with Unclaimed Territory, Cavern of Souls, and Aether Vial. Secondly, Kessig Malcontents still seems like a more efficient card than this. And that doesn’t even really see play anymore.
The Haunt of Hightower
As I mentioned in the comments below a couple of days ago, Vampires will probably be a supported tribe over something like Spirits. While it’s still possible that Spirits could also be supported, this further solidifies that more Vampires are coming.
This is an interesting card. It’s a pseudo two-mana ramp spell that replaces itself. And it’s blue. Is it good enough for Legacy as a potential card to discard to Force of Will? I highly doubt it. But I could be wrong about this too.
Good thing you draw a card first though.
This is a nice reprint for Standard and EDH/Commander. It’s also nice that Godless Shrine comes along with this. And as mentioned above, if Vampires becomes a top-tier strategy in Standard, this would probably see play in multiples in that deck.
If you don’t like foils, look into the Magic Player Rewards version that’ll probably never get reprinted. I just picked up a playset from TCGplayer for a little over $3 each.
We covered this card a few days ago and now we finally know the correct English name of this card. However, we still don’t know exactly what Spectacle is. Stay tuned for updates by bookmarking this page, setting an alert, or adding it to your news feed.
This is funny, since this is exactly what the last post was talking about. Anyways, is this card good enough for Modular Affinity alongside Hardened Scales? I’m skeptical. But again, I could be wrong. LOL.
Guild Spotlight: Simic
It was recently brought to my attention by my friend, Ty Thomason, that the Simic guild in the two previous Ravnica blocks both contained a +1/+1 counter mechanic. With that said, he suggested that Hadana’s Climb might be a spec. I think this could be a possibility. However, it doesn’t see play anywhere else right now except for pretty much EDH/Commander. And it only shows up in just over 1,000 decks, which isn’t that many compared to other cards like Putrefy or Anguished Unmaking.
If anything, I think it could be a ‘quick flip’ if it ends up becoming popular. If that’s the case, nonfoils might be the play since foils are usually harder to move.
Top Speculation Targets for Simic
Kelly here, chipping my two cents on the Simic guild. When I read Eddie’s estimation of Hadana’s Climb, I got excited because it’s so easy to trigger this 3-drop on the same turn you play it. On the flip-size, it’s a mana fixer and accelerator that turns every creature into a huge evasive threat. So I looked at some of the options to trigger this thing early and often, and here’s what I found by searching for +1/+1 counters in Blue/Green Standard. A full list of targets is below, but 2 cards stood out among the rest:
The synergy between these 2 cards and Hadana’s Climb are dangerous. Climb triggers Champion, and Winged Temple’s activated ability means that whatever flies and dies will assuredly trigger Pelt Collector again.
I really like the idea of a turbo-land style deck using Enter the Unknown and other Explore cards to pump out +1/+1 counters and lands. There are enough synergies in this collection of cards to build a theme, and the question is…what do you do with all this mana? Waker of the Wilds? An early Vivien of the Arkbow? Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait and see what Ravnica Allegiance brings, since there isn’t one clear “finisher” that can really absorb all the extra mana this strategy can generate.
As much as I hate to say it, Simic Ascendancy might actually be a viable win condition here. If you can control the early game by ramping out growing Merfolk and putting on pressure with Pelt Collector and Deeproot Champion, the extra mana generated can turn this alternate win condition into a dangerous clock. My concern is that it’s easy to kill an enchantment, but crucially, you don’t lose your investment when you lose the card. All your +1/+1 counters are safely distributed. Althought the insta-win clock gets reset, you still have an army of big creatures and a bunch of mana! It remains to be seen whether this is a valid tactic, but there is absolutely a borderline case for a simic turboland deck.
Standard-Legal “Simic” Cards
Light Up The Stage
(by Edward Eng on December 12, 2018)
Today we’re featuring the Ravnica Allegiance spoiler card, Iluminar el escenario, which translates roughly into something like Illuminate the Stage or Light the Stage. And it looks like we have a new mechanic called Espectaculo or Spectacle.
The card text reads…
- Exilia las dos primeras carta de tu biblioteca. Hasta el final de tu proximo turno, puedes jugar esas cartas.
which translates into…
- Exile the first two cards of your library. Until the end of your next turn, you can play those cards.
So one of the first questions that comes to mind is…
1. What’s Spectacle?
At this point, the general public doesn’t really know for sure. We can only speculate on what it is. Some people have said it could be an alternative casting cost.
Here are a couple of examples…
- If a creature died this turn, this spell costs one red mana.
- If you have no cards in your hand, this spell one red mana.
But all we can really do right now is wait since there isn’t any reminder text on this promo for Spectacle.
However, we can definitely start to dissect the card text and its potential implications on different metagames. Initially, there are a few cards that come to mind when thinking about what could work well with this card.
This card provides extra fuel to help bring back the phoenix from the graveyard. And it’s nice that you can play the cards until the end of your next turn since this spell costs three mana without Spectacle.
Here’s another card that often sees play alongside Arclight Phoenix in Standard and Modern. Illuminate the Stage/Light the Stage might also work nicely with the drake since it’s a sorcery that increases Crackling Drake’s power by one at the very least or more if it exiles additional sorceries and/or instants.
Illuminate the Stage/Light the Stage could also play well with this card since it gives you more options to play spells, especially if you get stuck with a land on top of your deck that you can’t play because you’ve already played a land for the turn.
All of these cards see play in older formats like Modern, Legacy, and even Vintage. But the key thing to point out is that Spectacle’s alternative casting cost is . And traditionally zero and one-mana spells are heavily played in those formats, including cards that have mechanics that reduce a spell’s casting cost down to one or zero like Treasure Cruise, Dismember, and Invigorate. So it’s important to keep a sharp eye on these types of cards when they’re spoiled because they can have a large effects that cause format metagames to adapt and shift.
Izzet Phoenix in Modern has been doing quite well in the past month. Ross Merriam recently won SCG Baltimore with it. And Carlos Moral made the top four of Grand Prix Liverpool with another innovative take on the deck which includes Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy to improve the density of turn two plays. Could Illuminate the Stage/Light the Stage make this deck even more powerful than it’s already become? Maybe.
- What implications do you think this card will have?
- What cards does it go well with?
Post in the comments section below.
@edwardeng on Twitter
Investing in Real Estate? (by Kelly Reid)
Knowing the guilds is important because it all but guarantees the reprinting of five cards – the associated shocklands, originally printed in Ravnica: City of Guilds, Guildpact, and Dissension (and more recently reprinted in Return to Ravnica, Gatecrash, and Dragon’s Maze).
There are two key things to consider here: supply and demand. Obviously. The issue is that supply is about to increase substantially. Like, by a ton. But since they are being printed in a Standard-legal set, demand will also increase. By, like, a ton. On the balance, it’s probably safe to assume no major change in price on these. Expect some increased premium on release day as people try to finish Standard decks. Expect that premium to disappear within two to three weeks, once supply fully hits the market.
Sometimes in this finance game, the right move is to get what you need to play some Magic and find other opportunities to make profits. I suspect this is one of those times.
That said, if you’re a degenerate gambler who absolutely must act on any piece of news (you know who you are), then you could try to pick up Expedition copies of these lands and pawn them off on those fools who foil out their Standard decks (you also know who you are). Expeditions have seen a fairly notable price increase lately, so this tactic is probably not ideal. Still, these are some of the coolest and most scarce lands outside of the Vintage-era, so you could do worse than to pad your trade binder or collection with some of them.
Location, Location, Location
We also know that the color-paired lands from Dominaria and Ixalan work really nicely with shocklands; the Ravnica mana sources all have basic land types, which means they play well with other things like fetchlands too. I doubt we’ll see fetchlands back in Standard again, but these “buddy lands” suddenly got a lot better.
The five that will see a direct benefit from the guilds represented are Hinterland Harbor, Isolated Chapel, Dragonskull Summit, Glacial Fortress, and Rootbound Crag. Note that these will all rotate out at the same time, despite being in two different blocks.
The Latest, Shameless, Cash Grab by WotC
…and I say that with nothing but love. They’re trying a thing called Collector Boosters, which is a pack that costs three times the normal price, has three rares instead of one, and two foils instead of zero or one. It’s really hard to figure out what this will do to prices, since we have no real clue about its distribution other than “limited.”
This may increase foil supply dramatically, or it may not move the needle at all. I personally don’t believe the extra rares in the pack will matter, since the pack is also priced accordingly. This pricing balance should maintain the equilibrium, but if there are some shenanigans with print runs, then things could be thrown off. My suggestion is to consider this an interesting, but non-actionable, fact.
The Collector’s Boosters are priced at $12.99, and includes 3 rares and/or mythic rares, 10 uncommons, 2 foils of any rarity, and (interestingly) no commons! This could put pressure on chase uncommons, which have seen multi-dollar price tags in previous sets. I do not suspect this will have a large effect either, though I could see a world in which hardcore players draft these instead of normal packs. If this happens, we may see a glut of uncommons. Overall, this is healthy for Magic, but exercise caution when speculating on cards from this set. We don’t know how this will play out, so there is some risk.
Existing Cards to Speculate On
We’ve got a great article covering that already, but we’ll continue adding onto this list as time goes on. Most of these are direct plays based on the guild alignments; there are a lot of Orzhov cards that aren’t quite getting enough love right now. In the right deck, some of the Ixalan vampire cards could be devastating (tribal synergies or not). For now, keep a close eye on the spoilers as they are released, and be sure to bookmark QS, since we’ll be keeping an eye on it for you.
Ravnica Allegiance Key Facts
|Set Symbol:||Not Revealed!|
|Release Date:||January 25, 2019|
|Pre-Release:||January 19, 2019|
|Ravnica Weekend:||February 16 & 17, 2019|
|Set size:||264 Cards|