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.
I’m in love with this card. It does a ton of tricky stuff, and does so for not much mana. As a straight-up removal spell, it’s good, and it can remove multiple blockers or stop multiple attackers with ease. I’m slamming this if I’m Dimir, and will play as many as I can get my hands on.
Connive // Concoct
This whole split card naming convention thing is not really doing it for me, but I guess that there isn’t an infinite well of Fire // Ices and Appeal // Authorities. In any case, Connive is excellent and Concoct is very good, so the combination is incredibly strong. Stealing a small-to-medium creature is well worth 4 mana, and having the option of casting this as a powered-up Rise from the Grave (your graveyard only) is a very good addition. I’d play either side of this alone, which is a great sign.
I’m shocked this is a common—I read the text before looking at the rarity, and I’d have guessed uncommon, then rare, then common. That may be a clue as to how strong this is, though the complexity is part of the reason I’d have guessed a higher rarity. This is easy to enable, and very good with instant-speed surveil. There’s enough surveil that I wouldn’t call this a build-around, as it’s more just a great Dimir card.
The same is true for Dimir Spybug, as one surveil is all it takes to make this a worthy inclusion. Once you are surveilling multiple times, it’s all gravy, and the fact that this is nearly impossible to block is nice upside as well.
Discovery // Dispersal
Half of this card being Preordain makes me pretty happy running it, especially with all of the cards that trigger off surveil. The other half being a great bounce spell (with a discard kicker) makes me all the happier.
This is my new favorite card. It’s a little slow, but wow is it sweet. By itself, it puts you up a card, and each time you surveil you are +2 cards (once you spend 3 mana). The discard part does fall off late game, as the opponent will empty their hand, but I’m still all-in on building a deck around this.
Etrata, the Silencer
Talk about burying the lede. It took multiple read-throughs for me to realize that this shuffles itself in on a successful hit, and I’m not the only one. Still, once you understand what this does, you will be duly impressed, as it provides a huge blocker and then kills the creature of your choice when you’re ready to cash it in. Even shuffling isn’t as big of a drawback as it would normally be, as surveil-heavy decks have the tools to find this Assassin multiple times.
House Guildmage locks down big threats (for a price) and provides you powerful filtering in the late game. That’s plenty of action, and I’d be happy pledging allegiance to House Dimir if I saw this early.
Lazav, the Multifarious
Lazav scales very nicely. He starts out as a decent little value creature, and soon turns into a full-blown threat, as he can copy your best dead (or surveilled) creature. This isn’t a bomb rare in the traditional sense, but it’s an efficient card that performs well at any stage in the game.
Limited: 1.0 // 3.0
The build-around part of this is how controlling you have to make your deck for this to be good. It reminds me of something like Villainous Wealth, or Genesis Wave—you need a ton of mana, but the payoff is large. It gets even more effective against Dimir decks, as surveil gives you lots of action, though the main factor in whether this is good is if you can survive until you have 7-8 mana in play. I bet this isn’t great most of the time, but will be a good finisher for a very controlling deck.
The mana cost bites this one too, as it would be a 3.5 if it were a little easier to cast. The combination of stats here is pretty good—this clocks the opponent reliably and can always trade in for whatever their biggest creature is. Some Dimir decks will want to race, and this is a great way to make sure your clock isn’t disrupted.
Make it rain! I like Read the Bones, and this is just better, due to surveil and graveyard synergies. It is a little awkward that your Divination requires both of your colors, as I always like it for extra fixing, but this is powerful enough that I’m not overly hung up on it.
Thief of Sanity
A cheap flyer that draws cards every time it hits is right up my alley, and even if they kill this you get to cast the exiled cards. That’s a sick ability for how little this costs, and I’m slamming this every time I see it.
I’m not always the highest on discard in Limited, but this is efficient enough that I’m interested. It strips them of their best threat, and even lets you surveil 1, meaning it’s never completely dead.
I was going to do those little clappy hand things in between each word, but that’s just so unbelievably annoying that I think I’ll skip it. Please, just don’t play Surgical Extraction effects like this in Limited. It’s not worth being down a card, and your opponent’s deck will rarely ever rely on one card so much that you can spend 3 mana and a card on this effect.
It’s no secret that this is a rock-solid playable, and one that I expect to show up in Izzet and Golgari as well. It’s just two good abilities on a reasonably-costed creature, which is a great distribution of power. This will trade for something easily, sneak in for 3 damage when the opponent doesn’t expect it, and give you card selection to boot.
Most Important Dimir Common
This is the headliner for Dimir, though Notion Rain isn’t far behind. Both are excellent reasons to be in this guild, and even work very well together. Surveil is one of the most well-supported mechanics I’ve seen, so I really like the payoffs.