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Logos and Guilds discussion



Give the set's not out until September-October time, this is a little premature, but...

[This page] shows Ravnica's Logo? and /ExpansionSymbol?. I recall AlexChurchill telling me that various members of the Magic community took the Logo?'s 10 little circles to be an indication of additional colours. I can't help thinking that's a bit bizarre of a conclusion. Since at most two of the circles contain established colour symbols, and that only if you squint (far left on the bottom, second-left of the top), it seems a bit of a leap to conclude that all of them are colours. Personally, I think it's more likely that the set sees 10 Guilds, and each circle is a Guild seal or similar.
That was admittedly a different logo, one with 10 very small circles that had no different images, only different colours. I could try to dig it out if you want: it would constitute an unofficial spoiler, but a very minor one. --AC
Depends what it was the logo for. If the answer is "Guildpact", then fair enough - we'd find out that not particularly revealing piece of information in about 4 months anyway. --CH
No, it was Ravnica, but not that logo (although the lettering may have been the same). I think it was the smaller version used across the top of the booster boxes or some such. But it had the ten circles, but different colours. --AC
Found it: it's the Ravnica book, the cover of which can be seen on Amazon by searching for "Ravnica". It's weird as the "Ravnica" lettering is almost entirely different to the logo linked above, and as stated before, there are ten circles but they don't have logos in. Does this count as an official spoiler, or not? It's information released by WizardsOfTheCoast to a third party knowing that company will put it on their public website... --AC
Hmm. I see Green, White, Blue, Black, Grey, Red, Brown, Yellow, White, White. As you pointed out, Grey, Brown and Yellow are Artifact, Land and Multi. Thos last two are intriguing though. --CH

Of course, that still leaves the fairly tasty possibility of another colour-oriented block. In which case, as StuartFraser has pointed out, we'll be duplicating the early series of "Overpowered, artifacty block; underpowered block; colour-centric block"...

But it is a really intriguing logo, isn't it? Wow. At first it looks rather bland, colour-wise; but I find the ten logos really evocative. I'm looking forward to finding out what the ten guilds pictured are, what their rivalries and common traits and things are... ooo... --AC
Actually, I'm not so sure about the colours thing. I think the third top one could contain a skull, and the fifth and sixth bottom ones be a flaming anvil and a wave, respectively... I think the ten guilds might be one for each colour and one for each allied-colour pair. --AC

(AL) Hmmm, mildly disappointed if that's the case. Seems they dream up a new creature-type / civilization / guild / whatever for each colour every time they do an expansion, really. Green gets elves or snakes; blue gets, oh, wizards or something; white gets humans, or foxes; red gets some kind of goblin; black gets some variety of demon/undead/ogre. Within each colour, the creatures interact positively with each other. What I was hoping the "guilds" could be would be for each "guild" to have some kind of theme - rogues, mercenaries, merchants, absolutely whatever really - and for cards in each guild to share creature types and work together; but for each guild to be spread across all 5 colours. So I could have an assassin deck, or a whatever-guild-I-like deck, and then pick whichever colour combination/subset I liked too....
So you want a partition into multiple factions, each of whom is represented within every colour? And you want the creatures and spells for one faction to work well with the other cards from that faction, from any colour? Like, for example, a war between the mortal and spirit worlds, but with spirits not restricted to white and black, but present equally in all five colours... and with special spirit-magic spells that they get bonuses from but the mortals don't? Hmmmm... :) --AC
Yes...that's an extremely good point. The spirits do indeed interact together very nicely and that's pretty much what I was thinking (even if not necessarily by exclusive new mechanics, i.e. soulshift and spiritcraft). So yes, there's a spirit deck in any combination of colours. There's also the Samurai - not exactly evenly distributed, but a few in black and one in green as well as lots of red and white - and there are some interactions between them (MTG: Takeno, MTG: Call to Glory, MTG: Isao, MTG: Indebted Samurai) although a lot of it is just a common mechanic which works on each card individually (but not really together). However, barring those reservations, the samurai make for a fairly good guild. That's two - the rest of the non-spirits don't really work together across colours, though, so I guess what I'm looking for is 5 or 10 guilds each a bit like the samurai or spirits; maybe even with enemy and allied guilds in some form like enemy and allied colours (i.e. they coexist [uneasily], rather than the mortal-kami war), except just through theming, synergy and interactions (rather than having different mana sources, as separates the colours)....giving each guild a theme (all creatures have bushido, or all synergies done by spiritcraft) makes for an interesting optional extra. --AL

Hmm. Yes, I do see what you mean. (Don't forget MTG: Godo and MTG: Oathkeeper for tribal Samurai decks.) I do really like the idea of guilds that just mechanically have alliances purely through synergy. Taking my inspiration initially from Kamigawa block again, guilds something like:
S: lots of "when creatures go to a graveyard from play, return other creatures to hand" type mechanics.
W: mechanics that give you a bonus for having more cards in hand (friendly to S)
Y: lots of "if creatures would be put into a graveyard, RFG them instead" mechanics. (enemy to S)
Z: lots of mechanics that count creatures put into a graveyard from play (friendly to S, enemy to Y)
M: mechanics that bounce your land (friendly to W)
And then add in things like:
A: mechanics that give you a bonus for having fewer cards in hand (enemy to M and W)
R: mechanics that like having lots of cards RFG'd in whatever way (friendly to Y, tension with Z)
L: mechanics that let you remove lands in your hand from the game for effects (friendly to M and R, enemy to W)
P: mechanics that remove things in play from the game and return them later (friendly to R)
X1: mechanics that sacrifice creatures to make your opponent sac theirs (friendly to Z and S)
X2: mechanics that RFG your creatures to make your opponent RFG theirs (friendly to Y and R, enemy to Z and S, tension with X1)
X3: mechanics that sacrifice creatures to let you draw cards (friendly to Z, S, and W; tension with X1 and X2)
That's not a particularly good set of examples. But it's interesting that having started with S(oulshift) and W(isdom), I started brainstorming, and most of the things I came up with were actually present in Kamigawa block... I think Wizards like the kind of mechanical interactions you describe :) The problem is, many of those are only in flavour for one or two colours. I think to obtain 10 interesting mechanic themes, all of which can apply across all colours, and which can also have synergy with some of each other and tension with others, would be extremely difficult without adding entirely new elements to the game.
I think each guild having a theme would be more than an optional extra, it'd be a necessity. I'm extremely confident that each Ravnica guild will have a clearly defined identity, through mechanics, creature types, names, art and flavour text. WotC know what they're doing. I'm very much looking forward to seeing how it turns out... --AC
(AL) Yes, I take your point. There is certainly no shortage of mechanics to "define" the "guilds". At present though, most of the mechanics rather lack identity: many don't have any common creature types, and (more importantly) many don't really encourage playing too many cards from the same mechanic together, but rather encourage splashing (e.g. Sweep - the only synergy is they all want/need the same allies in order to play many of them. You can argue this is just like needing land-search/BoPs?/etc. to do more than splash an extra colour, though...) . Many are very small too, I was thinking each "guild" should be spread among all/most card types (creatures, sorceries/instants, etc.) and colours, and (since some mechanics don't lend themselves well to a large number of cards) a guild doesn't have to be defined by a single mechanic: think of the elves in Onslaught block. I can see at least three mechanics:
- yet no-one would say that, despite the variety of mechanics (and their non-universality: the only thing tying all the cards together is creature type [and now we have types of enchantment and sorcery/instant too...]; many elves don't have any abilities themselves at all), the elves lacked identity; there is clearly a concept of an "elf deck"...
I would speculate that these 10 logos represent the 10 combinations of 2 colours in Magic. This could work with the 4 on the top being the combinations including black, and the others being underneath. Just a thought. --GO
Good point.  Reading the brief summary of the setting, I'm quite strongly reminded of Necromunda.  It'll be interesting to see what it's like.  --FR


MaRo, in his [article] in "Rainbow Week", says thusly:
"What if, hypothetically mind you, there was a block around the corner that had a multi-color theme that would force me to hit the issue again and again for a whole year? I don't know the chances of such a thing occurring, but I decided it best not to risk it."
Hypothetically, eh? --CH
Confirmed! In [Aaron Forsythe]'s article the same week. Yay, yay! Invasion block is a heck of a lot to live up to, but I trust R&D well enough to believe that this will be a great block without just being a rehash... Yay! --AlexChurchill
Yay! Maybe this will see me playing more Magic again. I got bored of Kamigawa. --Requiem

Also at the bottom of his article, MaRo mentioned 10 colour pairs, which are intriguingly reminiscent of the 10 coloured circles in the Amazon [image] mentioned above. I don't think they do match up. But it's tantalising, particularly if (as many have speculated) that image is a placeholder from before they'd confirmed the details of the [final logo]... --AC

Drafting


(PeterTaylor) I think it's going to be quite tricky drafting Ravnica. The four colour pairs are RW, GW, UB and BG. That means that everyone will want to be drafting either W or B. If you lock yourself into R or U you've forced your hand on the other colour. Does this mean that those who get a couple of good early G picks have a better chance of winning a draft, because they have time to pick up on signals which indicate the best second colour?







Well, I suspect that if there are anywhere near the amount of manafixers in Ravnica as there were in Invasion, green will be a good place to be anyway. Also that removal is worth splashing for, so if your draft started with a first-pick red burn spell followed by, say, U/B cards, it will still be worth picking up any more good red cards to form a splash. Your proposal seems plausible, though; but equally, starting in White (or Black) gives you the versatility to choose red or green (blue or green) depending on what comes round. The other factor is that with WGB featuring in more multicolour and hybrid cards this set, there are going to be more mono-R and mono-U cards than the other three mono-colours. So I suspect a RU deck may well be draftable, with the option to splash into B or W. One way or another, though, it'll be weird. --AC
Weird, yes. But it sounds like fun! Roll on the prerelease! --CH

Temple Garden [1]


Wow. Wowowowow.
I did hypothesise this might be one reason for them reprinting MTG: Gift of Estates... but wow. Strictly better than the Invasion ones, note, except for colour-hosing purposes... Wow! So cool! Such cool artwork! And note the background to the text box!! --AC (now REALLY REALLY looking forward to Ravnica)

Meh. Nice! You can search them out with the Onslaught fetchlands! And Kird Ape will be almost as good as it used to be! --qqzm

Note the "sun/tree" logo softly in its text box. I thought it was just a mixture of the G and W mana symbols, but it actually seems to be one of the four [Guild logos] that are black. Which suggests at least that the ones at the top aren't the four part-black colour combinations. It does suggest that five of them are allied-colour pairs. Is it safe to assume the other five are enemy pairs? It seems the most likely, but they could also be tri-colour allied triplets, or suchlike... --AC
I can't see triples - they would be restrictive in play, and would end up containing the enemy pairs anyway. --Angoel
Bottom right, to my mind, looks like a cross between the Red flame and the Green tree. I can't make much sense of the others though. However - fantastic card! --CH
Has no-one else pointed out that 5*4/2! is ten?  (ie. each possible pair of colours would make ten logos)  --Vitenka (Unable to find the right place for this comment to go)
I think that Alex commented that it was possibly 5 allied colour pairs and 5 enemy colour pairs.  And the MTG site seems to be giving examples of both allied and enemy colour pairs, so I suppose it's officially spoilered.  --Angoel
This is officially stated by MaRo's first preview article now, anyway. (And fairly heavily implicit in Rei's feature article: you can match up most of the guilds to their colour pairs.) --AC

Pretty! I mean, it's a good card, but mainly... so... pretty! *_* --Requiem


(PeterTaylor) RaBu? did say he'd be pushing for the original dual lands to be reprinted if they weren't on the restricted list. I think this is about as good as it's going to get without being a dual land.

Product Page [2]


The official product page is up. There's not much new there, but the four (guild?) logos beside the expansion symbol - the same ones that were black on the logo linked above - are interesting. Just four of the ten logos appear on the product page. Why would that be? --AC

And, er, Dark Confidant. Err. Suicide Black is in this season, it appears. Pretty art though. I mean, even for an Invitational card this is a bit obscure in use. --Requiem


Minisite [3]


Wow once more. The four insignias above have their own pages on this minisite. And it seems in the Boros Legion, we have confirmation of at least some enemy-colour alliances! Also check the trailer. After the animation, they show a few cards, although with their text boxes blanked out. It did look like they had guild logos in the text box like the Temple Garden did. And there was something odd about the borders, but I couldn't doublecheck, cause they only appear for a couple of seconds at the end, after the animation... --AlexChurchill
I think that the four of them are the leaders of the four guilds appearing in Ravinica.  At least, the Boros Angel appeared there, and they're all legendary creatures. --Angoel
Of the logos on the minisite, note that the first two are for the Red-White and Green-White guilds. Could the other two be White-Blue and White-Black? --CH
No, the other two are Blue-Black and Green-Black.  On the other hand, aren't there six other, smaller emblems on the main logo?  One for each two-colour combination, perhaps?  --FR (who's not sure of his maths on that one...)

(AL) Wow, cool. There's an Orb of Insight there, as well; I got

Spirit 18, Soldier 13, Wizard 14, Saproling 9, Angel 5
Legendary 9
Graveyard 65 (!)
Creature 374 (so it's the number of occurrences, not the number of cards...)

Land 56 (still strikes me as quite a lot!)
Nonland 3
Copy 8
Token 9
Counter 24
Target 128 (probably not very useful)
Spell 33 (?!)
Boros 16
Defender 13
Artifact 28
Equipment 4
Enchant 18 (enchantment 48...but that doesn't mean 30 global enchantments, as e.g. "destroy target enchantment). Aura 22, fwiw...
Remove 20 (not necessarily "from game"?)
Return 36 (e.g., from graveyard to hand, from RFG zone...other uses?)
Sacrifice 31
Exchange 1 (hurrah!)
Ninja 0 :-( ah well.
Either 12 - 'either' is in the reminder text for the hybrid ability. 12 hybrid cards only? --Requiem Still not a terrible number; 3 each for all 4 guilds. --CH Common, uncommon, rare? --Requiem, hopefully
Transmute 13
Convoke 15
Dredge 12
Radiance 10

That's a *lot* of Sacrifices. Or is it? I guess Mirrodin had the Replicas, things like MTG: Chromatic Sphere and MTG: Welding Jar, and also many red sac-an-artifact effects... Still seems like a lot though. I think the basic lands are included, so that'll get 20 "Land" straight off. Reminder text is included but flavour text isn't, so it may be that "graveyard", "spell" etc appear in reminder text for some mechanic or other. I removed a couple of mechanics that aren't officially disclosed yet. Incidentally, MTGSalvation have a thread discussing the results of manymany queries to the Orb. I can provide a direct link if people want; beware that posts in that thread and other threads will contain unofficially spoiled cards also. --AC
On "Land", we can probably (as you say) assume 20 basic land. From the preview cards we've seen, we can also probably say that there are 4 for the Dual Lands, and 4 for a cycle like Sunhome. That still leaves 28! --CH

Hmmm, the Selesnya subpage is now available....and I'm wondering. They have a home/guildhouse, which'll presumably be a land a bit like Sunhome, and a bunch of dryads with a collective consciousness (!! is that mechanic-ized somehow?) together with lots of "large elementals" for labour. Cool :-). But no leader - how does this fit with the "two legends per guild", I wonder... --AL

Selesnya Guildmage [4]


Oooh - that's... intriguing. And I rather like the idea of sorting your cards into 10. Note also the Guild logo behind the text-box to facilitate this. --CH
Isn't it going to be rather more than ten piles?  Single colour (5), 2-colour gold (10), new 2-colour (10), colourless (1) = 26.  The gold is distict from the new one, because in Limited I might want to play that guildmage in a GR deck. --Edwin

Ooh, pretty. And weird. It's like a gold card but... not. So in a white deck it's a more costly MTG: Leonin Sun Standard on legs; in a green deck it's a more costly one of MTG: Nemata, Grove Guardian's abilities. Still probably playable in Limited with only one or the other colour. Whereas with both colours, you get both effects (as well as making it easier to cast)... And they do undeniably have some rather nice synergy. Cool! --AC

A nice way of having non-green multicolour enabling without warping the flavour. --Edwin

Agrus Kos, Wojek Veteran [5]


I'd put up the other preview card, but mtg.com seems to be down ATM. From the article it's in, though, we seem to have the G/W, R/W, G/B and possibly B/U guilds in Ravnica, the other six appearing in Guildpact and Dissension --CH

AlexChurchill has two principal thoughts on this card. Ironically, neither of them are related to the text box, art, mana cost or P/T.
  1. I loove the red/white colour-faded border. It works really well to give a visual cue what colours the gold card is, and it evokes the same border on cards like MTG: Battlefield Forge.
  2. The names in this set look like they're going to finally give AlexChurchill the kind of pronunciation difficulties that I never had with Kamigawa block names.

(AL) The borders fading from one colour to the other are common to both. But only Wojek is gold. What colour is the Selesnya Guildmage - both green and white? neither (colourless? other?)? The color(s) of the mana used to cast it?
I'd guess it counts as green and white. The rule for a card's colour is always its mana cost, and the (G/W) symbol I'd think would be more likely to count as green and white than neither, principally because it would be really odd to control a colourless nonartifact creature (MTG: Ancient Kavu notwithstanding). --AC
This is confirmed by 7th September's Ask Wizards. So a monowhite deck can play a bunch of red-and-white or green-and-white spells, only paying white mana for them. --AC

Carven Caryatid [6]


And they continue the tradition that the first week's Tue/Wed?/Thu? preview cards can't be anything to do with the set as a whole, because the Monday and Friday articles aren't done revealing the basic mechanics yet. Ah well. A very solid card that I'll be happy to open any number of, at least. --AC
Yes. Solid card that will happily slide into any number of Green decks; but I'm not about to throw a party out of excitement. --CH

Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion [7]


Good power, fair cost. If you can afford the 2WR cost, could well swing things massively in your favour. Interestingly, isn't Legendary - although perhaps I was just expecting that after Kamigawa. Does mean that with two of them, and 4WWRR (yeah, right) you can pump two of your creatures; on the flip side, your opponent can get his own down in defense. Have I missed anything? --CH
Rather non-pretty: the art is more functional than attractive. I guess it is a barracks. The Boros logo in grey is nice, but not as nice as Agrus' coloured one. Do you think that monocoloured cards will have the logos in the text box? Do you think that any cards *won't*? --AC
Yes. See Dark Confidant and Carven Caryatid, for example. --CH
Oh yes, good point. Fair enough. Its name really does sound legendary, doesn't it? That's not just the Kamigawa effect, either: pretty much every card with a comma in its name (of the form "name, title") has been legendary. It's rather odd for it to have a name like that and not be. I'd guess it's because it's uncommon, which may be because it was in the rare slot before being swapped out for the dual lands. Ggrr at such useful cards being rare. --AC
A little confusing, too - I only noticed it wasn't legendary when you pointed it out, and I suspect that a lot of people may make the same mistake after seeing the name. Shame they had to break that rule-of-thumb, really. And I have to say, shame simply that it isn't legendary - it really feels like it should be from a flavour perspective. Are they trying to make all legendary cards rare now we're out of Kamigawa, or what? --AL

Grave-Shell Scarab [8]


Intriguing, Mr Bond. Dredge is a curious mechanic and no mistake. I'd guess, from the fact it's Dredge 1, that there are cards with Dredge X, meaning "Instead of drawing, you may mill yourself for X and return this to hand". But I could be wrong; Wizards have, in the past, stated that these days they'd print Threshold as "Threshold 7". First card from the G/B guild, too.--CH
It is indeed interesting. And I'm glad to see I was right in parsing the combination of sac-to-draw-a-card with dredge (when this card was unofficially spoiled) to give an effect (self-bouncing) that G/B won't normally see. Like MTG: Recoil being "destroy target permanent" for U/B, or the combination in a casual game last night of MTG: Radiant's Judgment with MTG: Debt of Loyalty to create "gain control of target creature permanently" in mono-white. Fun things, combinations. --AC

Oh, fun. Excellent combination of two abilities on one card where either is...straightforward... but both together is not. The comparison with blinking spirit is interesting: the annoying thing about "blinky" is that you can always bounce him even if you're completely tapped out, which the scarab can't (well, I suppose you can later, at the cost of a card), but blinky's other defining characteristic was that even if your opponent tried to zap it again in response to your bouncing it, you'd still get it back by repeating the bounce effect. Quite fun that the scarab captures this, too, because the sacrifice is a cost which can't be responded to (well, except by graveyard hosing!).
I'm guessing we'll see Dredge 2/3/etc. also, but I'm intrigued as to what one could do with a literal "Dredge X" - i.e. "where X is...." some part of the game state (presumably). I wonder if we'll see anything like that...--AL
I suspect we'll see Dredge > 1 because of the wording.  If there was only Dredge 1, they'd probably simplify the reminder text to "the top card of your library" --Edwin, who is wondering how much graveyard recursion Ravinca will have.

Hmm, a card with an ability which is played from the graveyard without the symbol at the top left for it. (Not that there's space for it, with the new card layout) --Edwin
There have been other such since Odyssey block, and they've not had the tombstone symbol either. MTG: Gangrenous Goliath, MTG: Undead Gladiator and MTG: Akuta, Born of Ash spring to mind. I wish they'd either kept doing it or not done it at all. --AlexChurchill

Chord of Calling [9]


Nice mechanic! Although it is marginally similar to "Affinity for creatures" - although the tapping of them should help reduce that. And a nice bit of info that each guild has it's own trademark mechanic, too. That means that the Selesnyans get Convoke, and the G/B folk get Dredge; I rather like the fact that they then don't appear on cards outside that guild - gives a bit of the feeling AL was hankering after at the top of this page. --CH
Yes, it looks like a cool (if risky) mechanic. A creature straight into play, from library, potentially for free? Seems like a very cool and scary card for casual. A horde of saprolings just got a whole lot more intimidating. I can see that tapping creatures effectively for mana is certainly a green ability, but I'm not so sure how white it is, although white does like to have lots of creatures working together... --AC

Seeds of Strength [10]



Nice way of wording it! That's quite versatile, really. It seems that the extra W entitles you to deciding how to distrubute an MTG: Giant Growth. Can't really tell if that's worth it, but it'd probably make the cut if I played the Selesnyans at the prerelease. Which is a point, actually - no-one's going to. G/W is not a winning sealed combination; G/B, R/W or U/B all have far more chance of succeeding. Which is a shame, really. --CH
Indeed... it's a cute card, but in a colour combination that's traditionally devoid of removal. I suspect Wizards do want all the guilds to be played in limited, though, so I suspect they'll have tried quite hard to make it competitive with the others. White has been getting removal like MTG: Arrest and MTG: Vanquish recently, and green things like MTG: Matsu-Tribe Sniper, so we'll have to see... alternatively, Selesnya may just aim to swamp the opponent with creature tokens. --AC
Selesnya would certainly be pretty good in the sort of stalemate situation you tend to get in limited when people play white. --Edwin, who wonders how viable 3-colour will be
I like this block already. Fun card. --Requiem

Great flavour on both the mechanic, wrt lots of creatures working together or whatever, and the name too I guess. I'd prefer it if it were (G/W)(G/W) or maybe even G(G/W), though; GW does seem expensive. --AL

Gleancrawler [11]


Oooooh, shiiny. For starters, a 6/6 Trampler for 6 isn't bad, and the Hybrid mechanic means that the colour commitment isn't too bad; tack on the auto recovery of evrything else you own and it become quite juicy. I think they've foiled the guild logo too. --CH
Yes, a 6/6 trample with an ability is about the going rate for 3GGG, but it's quite a bargain for 3BBB without a drawback. The hybrid mana symbols are just enough larger than the normal mana symbols to look weird alongside them. But this is a very decent card. It only happens once per turn, but you don't have to hit a player to get it: I'd expect this to be a saboteur trigger. Imagine this plus sacrifice effects (say MTG: Stronghold Assassin?) in a deck with MTG: Hunting Grounds or MTG: Elvish Piper... --AC
"A 6/6 trampler with an ability" - I'm not sure abilities can be genericized like that, it strikes me this is a pretty powerful ability! And it looks great in foil, I want one :-) --AL

Twisted Justice [12]


Nice flavour (see the spectral figure in the art!), perhaps a little weak. AA certainly points out that it's not that good in constructed, but it seems it could be a bit tricky in Limited too. Will have to see how the number of creatures commonly being thrown around it. I do like his "Hot Potato" deck fragment though... --CH
Indeed. Nice, but a bit tricky to use. --AC
I wouldn't say effective...except in combination with MTG: Mindslaver, perhaps :-)...but wonderfully twisted. The suggestion of pumping your opponents creatures seems an interesting plan, recalling a certain deck of Alex's :-). What's going on with the flavour text, is "Hand of Otiev" a card we haven't seen yet?  --AL
I'm guessing that Otiev is simply a Ravnican judge (who may or may not get a card). His opinion of the case was that the accused was innocent, but he was magically coerced into gesturing for the death penalty (see in the art the specter wrapped around his hand with thumb down - the ancient Roman sign for death as given by the Emperor in the gladiatorial arenas) --CH

Watchwolf [13]


Well, they seem to be pushing G/W for medium creatures.  Interesting.
Yeah, that's pretty efficient... --CH
Makes sense. White is the best weenie colour and the second-best creature colour, green is the best creature colour. Put them together and bam. We know white gets efficient aggressive two-drops; team it up with the colour of fat and this seems natural. If scary to see on turn 2 - more scary than an Isamaru on turn 1: this will only take 7 hits to kill you, which is faster than Isamaru even allowing for the missed turn-two attack; and it's got much better mid-game staying power. I can't see myself playing this very often, though, because I like a game to be good fun for both players, and being knocked into next week before they've got started isn't too much fun, unless their deck is also set up for handling a very aggressive early game. Even if I go aggro I'll want to do it with a trick or a theme (hmm, Johnny/Vorthos??). And so I'm unlikely to play this unless I'm playing a Wolf tribal deck or a MTG: Whalebone Glider deck... --AC
Mmm, fun limited card. And it's uncommon! Twice the fun by weight of Isamaru. --Requiem

Telling Time [14]


Mmm, frobbly goodness. --CH
Yes, cute. Not quite an automatic inclusion in any deck which expects to have blue mana untapped at the end of its opponent's turn, but pretty close. This is the kind of staple I'm likely to play, in contrast with Watchwolf above: this lets me find my tricks or theme cards. --AC
This is nice, but I don't know why it's spoilered; surely every block / set has something like this in it... --Requiem
Perhaps to reassure tournament players or mono-colour fans that there are still cards in the set for them? :) --AC
I'd say it was a (perhaps sad but) inevitable result of the columnists. We don't have Mark Gottlieb, seeker of insane combo goodness, picking cards to preview here, but true Spike players like Zvi Moshowvitz (sp.!) and, it would seem, Mr Flores here...or am I being unfair? --AL
No, I think they'd both happily self-identify as Spikes. They're both writing their current columns precisely because they did consistently well in tournaments. And the authors do pick cards that they want to write about. Also remember we've got three weeks of previews and in the final week they sometimes show more than one per day, so we've still got plenty of on-theme previews left. --AC


Perplex [15]


Could be a powerful mechanic; but at a prerelease, like AaFo? points out, you'll need a very good memory. Or a pen... --CH
(PeterTaylor) A pen's not much use, because you're not allowed to take notes into a game. I'm perplexed as to why they used such a snappy name on a card with a block mechanic.
Very cool card, though. Flexible if you have a sudden need for an MTG: One With Nothing, perhaps :-), and the number of different uses / things that might happen as a result of it (i.e. 3) makes for interesting and varied gameplay (I hope!). 1UB seems good to get a counterspell without UU but then it's not unconditional so I dunno how strong it is. Notably, it's (probably) not an answer to your opponent top-decking the card he needs to win... --AL

Also, it's impressively complex for a common card! Eeeek, that'll make limited, erm, interesting....
Note they only transmute into things of their own CMC: interesting. I think I see decks on the horizon where all the silver bullets cost the same... But yes, the idea of casting this on your own MTG: The Cheese Stands Alone is rather entertaining ;) --AC
Yep. So, float 15 mana in a UWB deck, play MTG: Upheaval, followed by the cheese, and responding with perplex....victory! :) --AL
When I read just the diif, and saw that sentence, I wondered why you would need 15 mana to play MTG: Upheaval then MTG: Psychatog. And what exactly would be the point of perplexing in response. :) --qqzm

Common? Eep! --Requiem like.

Char [16]


An official preview card not on the Wizards site? Bizarro.
Should I be worried that I pronounced that with a hard C first time round? --CH
Yes. :P  An interesting card, and I can see tournament decks liking it, but I'm probably not really the target audience. The comparison with MTG: Lightning Blast is illuminating: that's not a bad price to pay to get a mana shaved off the cost. My MTG: Sphere of Law deck could use it quite happily ;) --AC
I'd play it if the 2 damage to you were an additional cost (pay 2 life)...:-) --AL
What difference does that make, except that it would be slightly worse and less flavourful? --Edwin
I was thinking of my MTG: Uyo, Silent Prophet deck... --AL

Rally the Righteous [17]


Ooh. The Boros' mechanic turns out to be a reminder-keyword like channel! Bet that'll raise a few eyebrows. Still, this is a NICE combat trick. I'll be wanting a few of these for several of my R/W(/x) casual decks. I have to say, though, I can see how the other three mechanics are in flavour for both their colours, but I'm not convinced how red this one is. Creatures working together because of their similarities... sounds W/G to me. Still, my RW decks will be glad it isn't :) --AC
(PeterTaylor) The MTG: Radiate bit is red. The focussing on similar creatures is white.

Shambling Shell [18]


About 60% of the way down.

Firemane Angel [19]


Another official spoiler on a non-Wizards site.
Ouch on the reanimation cost. The lifegain might add up, and it'll be very hard to stop once she's in play; but it is just a trickle. Not sure about that one - won't make me play Boros on its own, for sure. --CH

Plague Boiler [20]


A fun little board sweeper, which Antony reckons compares not tooooo badly with MTG: Pernicious Deed? Wow! --CH

Flight of Fancy and Galvanic Arc [21]


Yee-ha. There's the anti-card-disadvantage Auras, in spades. Very nice. --AC
I'm not convinced - the come into play effects feel rather klunky, compared to equipment, which had the lack of card disadvantage built into it.  That is, it may make specific Auras playable, but it won't make Auras playable in general.  --Angoel
I see what you mean, and you're right it won't make all Auras playable. But I don't think it's meant to. These are just nice cards, not an entire new archetype. --AC
To me, they are Sorceries with an additional benefit and drawback, rather than Enchant Creatures with twiddly bits. --Requiem
Exactly my point. --Angoel

Nice cards; don't like the new templating though. What's wrong with Enchant Creature - Aura? --Requiem
Wizards have already put forward the arguments for this (it's a global and retroactive change - all local enchantments are now Enchantment - Aura with ability Enchant <Type>). Basically, the problems with Enchant Creature are that it doesn't state that it's card-type is Enchantment, or that it targets the thing it's going to enchant. --CH
Fair enough. --Requiem
And it also had "creature" on the type line when it wasn't a creature. I have actually seen this cause confusion once or twice. --AC
(PeterTaylor) It caused some bugs in some of my M:tG-related programs.

Nightmare Void [22]


Eh. Effective card, but not very exciting. Then again, this is Zvi. --AC

Razia, Boros Archangel [23]


I don't think she's been previewed anywhere, but she's appeared on the Ravnica product page under Famous Cards. And she's a very cool angel. I particularly like the interaction of vigilance, haste, and a tap ability. And that's some serious tap ability. --AC
Ooooo. That goes in my Mogg Maniac deck. --Requiem
Yeah, that's quite splashy. Still, 8 mana... However, I do rather like the fact that, even on the turn she comes out she can shrug off up to 6 points of damage, in style! Hmm. I suppose, in effect, it makes her strictly better (by a decent margin) than a 6/6 Flying, Haste creature for 8, which is not unreasonable. --CH

Lightning Helix [24]


Quite apart from the fact that the card is, yes, very good; what has Mike Flores been smoking? --CH
The shredded remains of other red removal cards. Nice card. --Requiem


For those of us who haven't been paying attention/can't be bothered to read everything/aren't going to the prerelease, what date do the cards actually come out?  --FR
October 7th. (Aww, you're not coming to the prerelease?) --Requiem
Sorry, would love to, but it's the day after I get back to college, and the spare room at my handily-situated sister's flat in London is going to be inconvenienly full of parents that night: they're going to the Barbican.  Shame, but there we go.  --FR

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