3 down, 2 to go in my helpful tips for Guilds of Ravnica. Only a few days remain and I hope that everyone is ready to experience the great wonders of Ravnica and reveal what secrets await. remember that for this pre-release you will align yourself with a specific Guild to take command and here I would like to give you some insight on what the remaining two guilds bring to the table and the tools to help pilot them to victory.
Lets start off with The Golgari Swarm and the boogie man in the room that is Assassin’s Trophy. BG Destroy target Permanent, its controller searches for a basic land and puts it on to the battlefield. Yes this will ramp up your opponent but you get unconditional removal for anything on the field. As the Store Champion once asked me whats the best permanent in standard will be, it didn’t matter because it dies to Assassin’s Trophy. Some may cling on to this inclination, but blasting a 5 drop to then be followed up a 7 drop in nothing to gawk at. With Jarad gone, Vraska has stepped up to take control of The Swarm with Vraska, Golgari Queen. 2BG for a 4 Loyalty Walker with a +2 you may sacrifice a permanent, if you do draw a card, -1 destroy target nonland permanent CMC(converted mana cost) 3 or less, and -9 you get an emblem that whenever any creature you control deals combat damage to a player, that player loses the game. With the flavor of this card, it screams Vraska. her ability to clear out some threats and trade useless things for cards is pretty impressive. Filling the graveyard in an integral part of the Golgari’s plan especially with their mechanic Undergrowth. a card gets a bonus effect depending on the amount of creatures in your graveyard. Creatures like Molderhulk, a 7BG 6/6 that when it enters, return target land from graveyard to play but he has Undergrowth so he costs 1 less for each creature in your graveyard. this works really well with Vraska’s ability to sacrifice lands to draw cards. Another powerful creature in the Golgari Raiders. A 3G for a 0/0 with Haste that gets a +1/+1 counter for each creature in your graveyard. these late game powerhouses have the potential to swing a game back in your favor. One of the coolest removal spell, they have at their disposal is Necrotic Wound. For a Black mana target creature gets -x/-x where X is the number of creatures in your graveyard. The Swarm is great at filling the yard so this will be able to take out many of foes and get past indestructible. Undergrowth also adds a very powerful Tutor effect that the Swarm will use to the fullest potential. Mauoleum Secrets for 1B allows you to grab any Black card with CMC equal to or less than the number of creatures in the yard.
Last but not least we have the Selesnya Conclave. Bringing back the mechanic Convoke. allowing your creatures to help cast your spells by adding 1 mana of any of the colors that the creature is. The Guild is led By Trostani Discordant. A 1/4 for 3GW that anthems your team while providing you with 2 1/1 Soldiers with lifelink to aid in the fight. her last ability allows for all players to gain control of all creatures they own. Convoke is a unique ability that the most savvy of players will use to their fullest advantage. Sprouting Renewal is a 2G Sorcery with convoke to either destroy and artifact or enchantment or create a 2/2 Elf Knight with Vigilance. Another cool spell to surprise your foes is Pause for Reflection. For 2G, prevent all combat dealt this turn. Join Shields is also quite the card by using your creatures to pay the cost, it untaps your team and gives them Hexproof and Indestructible. The tokens come at a premium for the Conclave and March of the Multitudes brings ambushing to a whole new level. X-GWW instant speed convoke to create X 1/1 Soldiers with lifelink. this can put most games out of reach and this point or just crack for lethal. One of my favorite things in magic are modal spells and the flexibility that they provide and Knight of Autumn provides that in spades. 1GW for a 2/1 seems eh but when it enters choose 1, put 2 +1/+1 counters on it, Destroy and Artifact or Enchantment, or gain 4 life. This knight becomes a silver bullet, able to adapt to whatever situation that you are in. Emmara, Soul of the Accord, is an aggressive creature that provides consistent value the more you use her. GW for a 2/2 that whenver she becomes tapped, create a 1/1 Soldier with lifelink. Now this can be done through the many convoke spells that you have at your disposal or just rumbling in for some damage. Now with the Conclave you still have room for removal and the one that comes to mind is Conclave Tribunal a 3W enchantment that exiles a non-land permanent as long as it’s on the field. The best part about it? Bam convoke. Don’t forget that Siege Wurm is back. The 5GG convoke 5/5 trampler is back so big threats is easily obtainable. Many high end threats for the Conclave do come at a high cost but if you can keep the fodder full, the massive late game threats will come to terrorize your opponents.
With the guild taken care of, there are still plenty of cards that will become very useful in the right deck and lets start off with additional white cards. One of the best way to deal with creatures in combat is to make sure that they can’t block and Luminous bonds and Demotion. Roc Charger is another limited allstar being a 1/3 flying that gives another attacking creature flying. Able to punch a larger creature in the air can be devastating. Cheap creatures is usually where White wants to be and a good example of that is going to be Healers Hawk and Hunted Witness. The Hawk is 1/1 flying lifelinker and the Witness gives you an additional Soldier when he dies. Removal of many different permanents is key to limited and that’s were Crush Contraband comes in handy to take out a Artifact and Enchantment. For Larger creatures you can use Collar the Culprit and Righteous Blow in combat to pick off a smaller creature or help take down a larger foe. Sweepers come in a handy especially those that keep your creatures alive like the new 3 mana Wrath in Citywide Bust that only hits Toughness 4 or greater.
Blue just wants to do what Blue does and that is counter spells and draws cards. Disdainful Stoke for 1U will counter and card CMC 4 or greater. Guild Summit is a unique enchantment that benefits you from splashing colors and playing gates. Drawing cards from gates can be very profitable in the late game. Capture Sphere looks like Blues best way to keep a creature from attacking you by making sure that it doesn’t untap. Great part about it is that it has flash so you can ambush you opponent with. An interesting creature that I came across was Murmuring Mystic a 3U 1/5 that whenever you cast an instant or sorcery you create a 1/1 flyer. Many remember the days of Young Pyromancer, maybe this is a new coming?
Black is next and lets see what treats this color has to offer. The First thing that come to the front light is Midnight Reaper a 3 mana 3/2 Zombie Knight that whenever a nontoken creature you control dies, he deals 1 damage to you and you draw a card. A little bit of damage is not so bad when you are drawing cards to counterattack. A cool creature with a dual type role is the of Plaguecrafter, a 3 mana 3/2 that when he enters each player sacrifices a creature or Planswalker and if they can not, they must discard a card. Keeping your opponents resources down is a vital strategy and a little 2 mana 1/1 Rat does the job real well with Burglar Rat. When it enters, each opponent discards a card. Removal is also a key part of Blacks gameplan and making your foes not a threat is a great way to keep them at bay with cards like Dead Weight. a 1 mana Aura that gives -2/-2 on a creature. Severed Strands is a unique 2 mana removal spell that costs you a creature to cast, but you gain life equal to its toughness then you destroy another creature.
The Fury and Power of Red is now time to shine and what better way then with a very interesting wall in Electrostatic Field, a 2 mana 0/4 defender that whenever you cast an instant or sorcery deals 1 damage to each opponent. A nice little road block but it doesn’t stop there. Erratic Cyclops is a 4 mana 0/8 trampler that gets +x/+0 were X is the cmc of an instant of sorcery that you cast. Lava Coil is a nice piece of creature removal that has the added benefit of exiling what it hits. Ornery Goblin is a crafty little bugger and will deal 1 damage to either a blocking it or being blocked. Combat tricks are essential part of any aggressive plan and Sure strike will make sure that you deal plenty of damage and keep your guys alive.
Big Green is last and lets see what spells and creatures this color has to offer. Circuitous Route allows you to grab 2 basic lands or gates and put them onto the battlefield tapped. A great way to fix your colors and make splashing cards a little bit easier. Nullhide Ferox is a nasty creature to deal with. As a Hexproof 6/6 for 4 that is way above stats also has a sweet skill that is you have to discard him from a spell or ability that your opponent controls, he goes right into play. You have the added downside of you can’t cast non-creature spells and any player may pay 2 to nullify this ability. Many Green creatures can be made cheaper through the Selesnyan Convoke which is crucial to any creature based strategy and Beast Whisperer allows you to draw whenever you cast a creature. Many elves apply to the advancement of your many and District Guide does just that in getting a basic land or a gate and put it in your hand. Pump spells in Might of the Masses and Bounty of Might will make sure your creatures stay strong and in the fight. But Green, by far, has the most adorable card in that of Generous Stray. A 3 mana 1/2 Cat that when it enters, draws you a card. I don’t know about you but I want every copy of this cute little cat.
With this coming to an end, I hope that you will all take this information to this weekends prerelease and find out which guild is best suited for your play style and which one will bring you victory or which one you will have the most fun with. Whatever you taste is, make sure that you and everyone around you has a great time prerelease weekend.
If you missed it check out Guilds of Ravnica Part 1 of this series here.