Previous Guilds of Ravnica Set Reviews
Ravnica has returned (again), and it’s time for the set review! Because this is a guild set, I’m going to split up the gold cards differently and do them by guild. The mono-color cards will still be grouped together, since trying to figure out which are Boros and which are Selesnya seems inefficient.
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’d be happy enough running this in any aggressive deck. For that deck to be successful, you’re going to want enough 2-drops so that this works out well. Mentor on a 3-power creature is basically free in that regard, and I don’t expect it to require you to draft very differently than you would otherwise. In a defensive deck, this becomes a lot less interesting, which is true of most mentor creatures.
The ability on this doesn’t have any targets below rare (I guess commons and uncommons don’t bring a big enough bounty), so this is mostly just a 2/2 vigilance for 2. That’s playable in the right beatdown deck, so that’s where the rating comes from.
This can’t hold a candle to removal, which is why it gets a low rating, though be aware that it can be a solid sideboard card against decks that are lacking in ways to interact. Buffing your mentor creatures can open the door to some nice plays, and this is a lot of stats if the opponent can’t easily snap off a 2-for-1.
Against some decks, this will be a bust, though I do like that it’s a sweeper that you can play in aggro decks. This looks like it will punish Golgari and Selesnya more than others, though every guild has creatures that you can arrest.
Collar the Culprit
The targeted version is a little worse, because the upside isn’t quite as high, though it being an instant is a bonus. I like playing one of these in removal-light decks, and am happy to pick up extra copies for the sideboard.
Unconditional removal that might cost 1 or even 0 mana is really high on my list when it comes to Limited, and Conclave Tribunal offers just that. Even if you always pay full retail, this will be a solid card, and the turns where you get to convoke this out are going to be filthy. Curving into this for free on turn 4 or 5 will dramatically swing most games, and this is good no matter when you draw it.
I like this as a sideboard card. I dislike this having a creepy Boros mask dude on it.
Dawn of Hope
Dawn of Hope reminds me a little of Mastery of the Unseen, though I suspect it’s not insanely broken like Mastery was. This gives you lifelink chumpers that keep you alive, and you get to draw extra cards whenever theSoldiers go into combat, which helps you hit land drops and make more Soldiers. It’s a self-fueling engine, and will win any long game easily, while still having an impact as early as the midgame. You can lose fast games with this in play, but whenever it’s on the other side of the board, you will feel the crushing grip of inevitability approaching (Mr. Anderson).
Limited: 1.0 // 3.0
This may not look like it deserves a build-around grade, but it’s such a focused aggro card that I feel it warrants one. In an aggro deck, this is great removal, and will assist in you curving out and crushing the opponent. In a midrange or control deck, it’s close to blank, and that explains the disparate ratings.
Limited: 1.0 // 3.0
As far as build-arounds go, this one is divine. In a deck without token-making, this does literal zero, but if you can make two Angels you end up very far ahead. Sadly, the card file doesn’t support this all that well—white and green just don’t have much in the way of tokens, so I’m not convinced that this is something you can slam early. The best enabler is Sworn Companions, so if you have a couple of copies and see Divine Visitation, I’d go for it.
Flight of Equenauts
I’d definitely pay 6 mana for this, and be quite happy at 5 or less, which makes this a great convoke incentive. You don’t need millions of creatures for this to be good, and even your average Boros deck will be happy running this as top end.
Gird for Battle
You have to be aggressive to really make this gird, but if you are it can be a game-changer. Playing this plus another creature or removal spell on turn 4 is a huge swing, especially if it lets your creatures attack when they otherwise couldn’t.
Limited: 1.0 // 2.5
By itself, Haazda Marshal is horrendous, and even in a normal deck with a bunch of creatures, it might not be good enough. But given enough support from mentor creatures and pump spells, this can be a sick threat. 1/1s for 1 get a lot better with mentor as a mechanic, and this plays exactly into that game plan.
Limited: 2.0 // 3.0
I bet you’re all ready to hear about how this card is a trap and how you shouldn’t play it. Well, the bird is the word once you add mentor and convoke to the mix, so I’m actually high on the hawk. This isn’t bad by itself, and becomes great if you can get a +1/+1 counter or two on it, or tap it to convoke out something large. I suspect these will still be a tad overdrafted, but at least they are a good addition to your deck.
Most decks won’t be on the hunt for this, but it does a fine job filling out curves for both of the guilds in its color. Plus, the flavor is great—a witness dies, prompting the Boros Legion to investigate.
Inspiring Unicorn is a fierce attacker, and even benefits from its own ability—that’s perfect for any deck looking to go wide, and good even without a token theme.
Tapping down two blockers opens the doors for attacks on almost any board, and with mentor, one opening is often all you need. The next turn, you have the Packbeast to attack with, plus your mentor creatures get value from the previous turn’s attacks. I wouldn’t run this outside of aggro, though it’s quite strong as the high end for beatdown.
A 3-mana 2/4 is a card most white decks wouldn’t mind, and this can often be better than that. Playing this on turn 3 is easy, and in the right draw, this might come out for 0 mana on turn 4 or 5. Plus, 2/4 is a particularly good statline for mentor, which is some nice cross-guild synergy.
Light of the Legion
I wouldn’t worry too much about just drafting white creaturesthis is great in any deck, and its death trigger is a bonus. A huge flyer that distributes +1/+1 counters in multiple ways is something I’m in the market for, and if it gives you a little extra incentive to play white creatures over red or green ones, so be it.
I’m a big fan of Loxodon Restorer, largely because the life gain makes up for tapping all of your creatures to get it into play. Your shields may be down, but your life is up, and that plus solid stats makes it so I won’t forget this elephant.
As always, this is one of the best commons in the set, and nothing going on in Ravnica changes that.
Parhelion Patrol would be sweet without mentor, so adding that keyword makes it an appealing common. Granted, you aren’t likely to trigger this multiple times most games, but even once is more than enough of a pay off.
It’s not a shock that this also pulls its weight, and it does quite well in aggressive or defensive decks. Getting to attack with your 3/1 mentor creature and then casting Righteous Blow (I think this is one two-word card I won’t be shortening when describing it) is a good exchange even though your 3/1 doesn’t get damage through.
I’m more than happy seeing this at uncommon. Pegasus Courser at common every set was getting to be a bit much, and having a break from that is welcome. The card is great, and completely changes how white decks play out, giving them good offense at any stage in the game. It even gets better with mentor, both in receiving counters and giving your fragile mentor creatures evasion.
All I’ve ever wanted from a 2-drop is that it’s relevant late game, and this fits the bill. Early on, this attacks and trades just fine, and later you will have the mana to send it to the skies. This is an aggressive card, and a good one at that.
Once you have this, Healer’s Hawk becomes a lot more appealing. A 2/2 first strike for 2 is good on its own, so don’t worry too much if you don’t have many mentor targets (though do try and pick up a couple).
This buys you a lot of time in a defensive deck, and gives you some nice mentor targets in an aggressive one. You do need to put in a little work to make this great, but I swear that it’s worth it—once you have a couple of mentor cards or a go-wide pump spell, this will deliver.
1 mana for +2/+2 has proven to be perfectly serviceable, and I expect this to make the cut in most Boros decks. Note that precombat pump spells open up more mentor possibilities, even if you give up some extra life in this case.
Tenth District Guard
This is about as replaceable as 2-drops get, which is why I assume it’s relegated to the tenth district instead of one of the first nine. It can make it more likely a mentor creature (or target) survives combat, but that’s not enough to make it exciting.
Not only is this a cheap 4/4, it also distributes a couple of +1/+1 counters on its way in (up to a full five). That makes this a ton of stats for a very low cost, and one of the better threats you can start a Draft with. This will shine in any deck, and be busted in a curve-out aggro deck.
Top 3 White Commons
The mono-color commons list is shorter thanks to all of the gold cards, so I went with the top 3. Luminous Bonds is the clear winner, with a good flying threat and a more situational removal spell in the next two slots. White looks quite aggressive, and will have creature-heavy decks in either guild.