The three guild logos behind the [Guildpact logo] appear to be an eight-pointed star, a bird of prey or phoenix (looks like a dragon to me --PT), and something flaming (visible also on the [Ravnica logo]) - perhaps a volcano (looks like a burning tree to me --CH)? These seem likely to be the logos of the Orzhov, Izzet and Gruul, respectively.
Implications for drafting
Thinking ahead to Rav-Gui-Dis drafts, you probably want to draft one guild from each pack such that you end up with three guilds sharing three colours. If you take Selesnya first, you can't do this, whereas with the Dimir or Boros there are two ways. Or in the other direction, if you're doing this, you can't arrive at the UG guild. --Edwin
So the proposed sequences would be:
Boros (WR) - Izzet (UR) - Azorius (UW)
Boros (WR) - Orzhov (WB) - Rakdos (BR)
Dimir (UB) - Orzhov (WB) - Azorius (UW)
Dimir (UB) - Izzet (UR) - Rakdos (BR)
Golgari (GB) - Gruul (GR) - Rakdos (BR)
Looks like the Rakdos will be oversubscribed, and as you said, the Simic undersubscribed. I guess manafixing will be more important in decks that start off Selesnya, too. But on the other hand, in Ravnica at least, there are plenty of playable mono-colour cards, even those with a guild mechanic. I can imagine Selesnya-Boros-Gruul decks being happy in the Dissention pack to just scoop up mono-colour cards in any of their (three!) colours. On the flip side, Guildpact is half the size of Ravnica, and it may be that there are proportionally more gold cards so that the absolute number of gold cards from each combination are more closely matched... --AC
For Rav-Rav-Gui formats, it seems mildly sane to posit drafting two Ravnica guilds and one Guildpact such that you get just 3 colours. This allows you:
Boros (WR) - Selesnya (WG) - Gruul (RG) for InsaneBeatdown? at all points on your mana curve
Golgari (GB) - Selesnya (WG) - Orzhov (BW)
You could of course just draft heavy green from Ravnica and then pick and choose from Guildpact. In any case, assuming people follow this sort of plan, you may well find Dimir and Izzet underdrafted. Mind you, a Dimir-Izzet deck would be an interesting beast, wanting to win by control, weird spells and not all that many creatures.
As usual, unofficial spoilers should be discussed elsewhere.
Indeed. It doesn't actually work with MTG: Shifting Sky as AlanLawrence suggested, but MTG: Swirl the Mists works and is in Standard. I suspect the only reason this two-card, three-colour, continual-Plague-Wind combo was permitted to exist in Standard is because you also need to get three spare creatures. Although they can be of any colour, and so a single MTG: Promise of Bunrei would do the job - as, of course, would MTG: Meloku... not that he needs much help to win the game anyway. --AC
Three spare creatures, or one spare creature and a permanent reading "Sacrifice a creature: do something" --Edwin
I don't think that'd work, would it? Well, not to activate Teysa's first ability, anyway. She would give you unlimited activations of whatever that other ability was. --AC
Sorry, the latter is what I was was thinking of --Edwin
This card has the potential to be quite, quite terrifying. Note in particular that, unlike most things that ask for colour, every multicoloured RG card will put 2 counters on this! --CH
Like MTG: Tolsimir Wolfblood, MTG: Circu, Dimir Lobotomist, MTG: Agrus Kos and MTG: Savra, Queen of the Golgari. Well, Ulasht is more like Tolsimir and Circu, in that he affects both colours the same way; Teysa is more like Savra and Agrus Kos (particularly Savra), in treating each colour differently in a way that suits the colours. In fact, Savra and Teysa go together rather well. It seems that they're keeping two gold legends per guild - one which has CCDD in the cost (like MTG: Szadek etc) and one that gives you bonuses for playing other cards of that colour (like Tolsimir, Savra, Teysa and Ulasht). I've seen an unofficial spoiler of the Izzet CCDD legend (obviously I won't give away any details, I'll just say its flavour text is utterly superb), but I'm curious as to what their colour-bonus legend will be like. --AC
(PeterTaylor) I'm hoping the Izzet CCDD (which I nicknamed "Muzzy" on principle, for reasons which will be obvious to some people) is the card MaRo's previewing next week.
Niiice mechanic! My initial liking of the Izzet has gone up a notch. Assuming some reasonably cheap Replicates in common or uncommon, that could be a seriously good way of playing... (PeterTaylor) Definitely a Constructed card. I wouldn't play it in Limited.
...especially when you can apply it to all your non-permanent spells. --CH (PeterTaylor) picks jaw up from floor. (AlanLawrence) I admit I'm being a rules weenie :-) but can anyone explain to me how this works with X spells? Does every copy have to have the same X, can they be different, or does it not work at all (i.e. every copy has X=0) ?
Because they're on the stack, X is kept the same as the original spell. --AC
As if card drawing wasn't good enough already! Plus, what's with the flavour text? MaCa? says it's not gibberish, but anything that starts (Z->) with no RHS to the -> seems fairly gibbery to me. --CH
“(Z–>)90º – (E–N²W)90ºt = 1”
What's the deal with that!? This is all I am going to tell you: it is not gobbledygook. It's the first and last thing Niv-Mizzet would say – in the quizzical sort of language that the Izzet mind easily deciphers.
AlexChurchill saw it suggested that the (Z->)90 meant "tap", and the end meant "draw a card", or something similar. Don't know how believable that is, but it's one proposed explanation, although I'm not sure it fits MaCa?'s comment about "first and last thing Niv-Mizzet would say". --AC
Could it be that he means it encompasses both abilities? Rearranging, you've got "(Z–>)90º = 1 + (E–N²W)90ºt" - Tap = 1 +(something)? --CH (scratch that)
Small hint: Lbh arrq gb gnxr vg yvgrenyyl.
More of a hint: Ebgngvat n mrq ol avargl qrterrf znxrf na ra.
Lot of a hint: r.t. M-> ebgngrq avargl tbrf gb AVI. --qqzm
Yay! Yay! Yay for wacky combos, silly copying tricks, and mad scientists. The Izzet are definitely shaping up to be my favourite guild out of all 10 (even though the Azorius or Simic might end up giving them a run for their money). This is the card that provides a 3-card, mono-colour, 5-mana, instant-win kill in Standard. --AlexChurchill
3-card? Oh. The third one to make it an instant kill? --Requiem
Counting the Guildmage as one of the 3 cards. Using 2 others and 5 mana once you have the Guildmage in play. If you have a win combo using just the Guildmage and one other card (with only 5 mana of a single colour), I'd like to see it. (Although MTG: Glimpse the Unthinkable is pretty terrifying copied only once or twice... MTG: Twincast lets you do it in UB, as you'd need R to copy a sorcery otherwise.) --AC
(PeterTaylor) See also Djinn Illuminatus, MTG: Lava Spike splicing MTG: Glacial Ray. That's 1RRRRR at sorcery speed, but 20 to the head is quite effective. The reason this can be better than the Djinn is that you can let one copy resolve before you decide to buy another - so if it has a spliced MTG: Desperate Ritual you can produce infinite copies.
I don't think instant speed is going to be possible without another card, as the Guildmage needs U to copy instants. 2RRR is fine for sorcery speed though. --Edwin
Sorry, I did indeed mean "immediate win" rather than "win at instant speed" when I said "instant-win". --AC
(PeterTaylor) For people who get as confused as I did about how to go off with only 5 mana, nsgre lbh cynl ynin fcvxr fcyvpvat qrfcrengr evghny, gur ynggre vf fgvyy va lbhe unaq naq pna or cynlrq sbe bar naq erq.
If you're going multi-colour, you may as well do it properly ;). I do wonder how this jibes with one of the stated aims of this block being not to encourage mad multi-colour play, though. --Angoel
This is kinda an anti-monocoloured card. How cool. The non-blue one may be the easiest to play, as it'll probably be surrounded by Selesnya, Golgari and Gruul cards for mana-fixing. I'm sure I know the word Nephilim as well - a quick Google indicates it's biblical or mythical, but I can't place where I've heard it. --ChrisHowlett
They're the supposed offspring of fallen angels with the sons of man, from Old Testament / apocrypha times. I've seen a suggestion that the word translated "giants" in Genesis may have been translated "Nephilim" in the past. Ah, yes, WikiPedia: Nephilim has the details. --AC
(PeterTaylor) More that it may have been left untranslated in the past. I'm somewhat annoyed that WotC used the plural, given that they had that push to remove plurals from creature types.
Nephil, I believe. Although it looks from the card that 'Nephilim' is used as a singular. --Edwin
I'm surprised it's non-green. Green likes to have attacking creatures, and has a bit of graveyard retrieval. It looks more non-blue to me. --Edwin
I agree. I suspect the non-blue Nephilim just ended up being more non-blue for whatever reason. --AC
Unless, in random fashion, each Nephilim demonstrates a trait that's strong in the missing colour. Graveyard recursion is really quite Green, and not very Red at all. It's admittedly very Black and fairly White too, but it's a possibility. --CH
On the other hand, a creature being put into play attacking has been done in Black, Blue and (cough) Red. But back to the original hand, I don't think the Nephilim has any of the properties of Ninjutsu that made it Blue. --Edwin
I say again - some Orzhov cards will be getting into my sacrificy Doubling Season deck. That or I'm building another one. --CH
This card goes terrifyingly well in my currently almost-all-Kamigawablock Soulshift/Spiritcraft? WB creature assault deck "Yin-Yang". Soulshift a MTG: Scuttling Death into this guy and then use him to trigger further soulshifts whenever I want? Sounds like a good deal. As I was saying last night, I have a feeling I'm going to really rather enjoy playing with the Orzhov. The difficulty may be that the opponent might not enjoy things too much. --AC
A big funky Gruul bird, with a hefty dose of the Gruul keyword mechanic. I'm not a big fan of the Gruul myself, but this card is funky. Even if the adjective "Skarrgan" is atrocious. (Naming a place "Skarrg", fair enough. Trying to call its inhabitants "Skarrgan"? Bad Wizards.) --AC
A preview for those on the Magic Player Rewards list. A bit of an odd card, this one. Given that you have to pay the cost of the other card as well as effectively five mana to use this (or six with a top), I'm really not sure how often it'll be useful. It certainly doesn't interact well with Replicate or the Izzet Guildmage. It does seem very overcosted to me. --AC