Previous Guilds of Ravnica Reviews
Before I introduce the grading scale, I offer the usual caveat—the grades don’t tell the whole story, and what I write about each card provides context.
Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice
Aurelia gives you everything you want out of a bomb, and for just 4 mana. First of all, her triggered ability happens right away, so you’re getting +2/+0 and some keywords. Secondly, she’s a 2/5 flyer for 4, which happens to be very appealing stats. Lastly, she has mentor, which means that she generates value every time she swings. Note that she can target herself with her trigger, making her a 4/5 flyer with vigilance, which is perfect for any mentoring you are looking for. I can’t think of a better exemplar of a bomb than Aurelia.
Boros Challenger is a beating early and still relevant later in the game, which is exactly what Boros is looking for. It can mentor your 1-drops without any help, and if you have mana lying around, can even teach larger creatures after you pump it.
Chance for Glory
This card isn’t a stone zero, but I like doing that for effect. There’s power here, but I’m not sure how often this wins you a game you weren’t otherwise winning. It is nice if you can jam a ton of 3/1 and 4/2 mentor creatures, then save them plus set up a lethal alpha strike the next turn. I’m just suspicious of such a narrow card, as it’s literally uncastable if you aren’t planning on winning, which limits its effectiveness dramatically. It’s not a combat trick and you have to be sure that the game will conclude to put it on the stack. The real chance for glory is playing this when you need to topdeck on the extra turn, ideally as the last card in your hand so the opponent knows.
Boros may not be first in line for a sweeper, but this is good when behind or when racing, which is enough for me. Boros also has enough mentor that you can realistically build some creatures to survive this, making it a game plan in and of itself.
Not only is this easy to cast, it also attacks nicely and really benefits from mentoring. Boros decks need 2-drops to survive, and this is one of the better ones. I also like that it only has first strike on your turn—that’s a marked improvement to having it always, as it doesn’t gum up the ground or make attacks too difficult for the opponent. In fact, I could see a new keyword that does just that playing quite well.
Limited: 1.0 // 3.0
Once you have 3+ Gates, this becomes a premium 5-drop. Until then, it’s just a dorky lizard, one you wouldn’t trust to guard even the least important of entrances.
You have to assume this dies as soon as you attack, though that’s where combat tricks come in. The opponent is a lock to block this, so Sure Strike and the like become basically kill spells. Plus, if this trades for a 3-drop but you got a +1/+1 counter, that’s not the worst deal.
Integrity // Intervention
Both halves of this are cards I’d gladly add to my deck, so getting them both is a fantastic deal. I’d take this early and be happy with it, and it’s even splashable. You can play this in an aggressive Izzet or Selesnya deck as a +2/+2 pump spell, and as long as you have 1-2 sources of the other color you will sometimes get to cast Lightning Helix.
This is a solid removal spell. It won’t kill every last thing you want, but it will kill enough, and at 2 mana this is not something I’m passing.
I’m not sure why, but the tap symbols on all of the Guildmages actually bums me out. It doesn’t make them that much worse, but they look a lot less appealing than when they didn’t have them. In any case, this is a good aggressive 2-drop that has multiple relevant modes in the mid- and late game. Bear in mind that you’re overpaying for either mode, but getting the option to do them both is worth it.
Response // Resurgence
If you really want a chance for glory, look here instead. Response means that this is always an efficient removal spell, which is the perfect way to get the situational but powerful finisher into your deck. Being able to cast this as a powered-up Gideon’s Reproach 90% of the time helps subsidize the 10% of the time where you cast Resurgence and just win the game. I really love the recipe here, and would gladly take this early.
I almost want to give this a 3.5, just because of how important it is in the good Boros decks. I think it’s a tiny bit short, but that still puts it at the top of the list of Boros commons. This clocks in for reliable damage every turn, and even gets to be a great Mentor target. Haste is especially nice with Mentor, as you can start the turn with just a Mentor creature and out of nowhere get the benefit of it attacking.
Swathcutter Giant is a beefy 6-drop, and helps Boros win games where their offense has stalled out. This hits hard, and the ping effect opens the door for your smaller creatures to attack into larger ones. You will want zero or one 6-drops in Boros, but this is one that’s worth including.
This is a really sweet card. By itself, it’s not that much better than your average 2/1, but all three keywords scale up quickly once you add mentor or pump spells to the mix. This is exactly what you want to mentor on to, and I’d take this as a great sign that you should be Boros.
Tajic, Legion’s Edge
Bizarre art aside (something is off there, I swear), this card should give you an edge in any game you draw it. It attacks as 4/3 worth of stats if you have something to mentor, and first strike makes it hard to block if you have mana up. The damage-prevention ability won’t come up too often, but it’s completely free, so no harm done.
The difficulty to cast does come into play here, as RRWW is much harder than RW2. If you can cast this, it’s a great way to push damage through, and mentor makes this a must-block. This gets especially nasty with combat tricks, as you can buff this big enough to survive while also having its trigger punch the opponent for 3 or 4 damage (unless the trick is Sure Strike).
Most Important Boros Common
This is the most Boros-ey card that ever Borosed, and is one of the bigger signals that Boros is open, while also being the linchpin of every good Boros deck.