Other Ravnica Allegiance Reviews
A sorcery-speed bounce spell that replaces itself is well worth 3 mana, and this even gives you the option of playing it as an instant (though I’d only do that if absolutely necessary). I like this more in aggro than control, but it’s good in both.
The Biomancer is a fine card on its own, if unexciting (3 mana for a 2/2 plus a loot isn’t too crazy). Where it gets interesting is when you have ways to add more counters, as it gives you more looting triggers, which is a powerful engine. I’d look to combine this with Combine Guildmage, which will give you a steady stream of counters and action.
This card has no chill, despite the name. It’s a large flying threat that locks down the opponent’s best creature for a turn (and stops two turns of blocks), which is awesome in aggressive and control decks alike. Multiples of these stack well, and this looks like one of the best commons in the set.
Clear the Mind
While it may be clear that I’ll try and prevent myself from decking with this, that’s not a game plan I can recommend in good conscience. Maybe you can sideboard this in a control mirror, but for the most part it shouldn’t make it off the bench.
Code of Constraint
Code of Constraint plays as two different cards, and both are good. It’s either a combat trick that offers a 2-for-1, or a way to lock down an opposing creature without losing a card. I like how addendum is used on this card, and I’m happy playing as many copies as I can get.
Bad stats and no abilities makes this a fishy inclusion in any deck.
See, this captures the essence instead of just scattering it! The casting cost is obviously the issue here, as the card is quite powerful. A 2-mana counter that buffs one of your units and has +1/+1 counter synergies is great, but UU means you won’t be able to cast this turn 2 some of the time, and that’s a big hit. Once you’re looking at 9+ blue sources, I’d bump this up a little, but early in the Draft I wouldn’t prioritize it.
I don’t think Eyes Everywhere is particularly good. It costs a lot of mana to steal a creature, and leaves the opponent with a permanent scry 1 each turn. If the opponent has blue mana, things get worse, as they might start swapping this back and forth. That can lead to a weird lock where that’s all players do, but even then I don’t think this is really a card you want in your deck. If your opponent has insane creatures you can’t deal with and isn’t playing blue, maybe this is a sideboard card, but I’m not really going to be keeping an eye on this one.
I like this little guy (though he’d probably poke me for saying that). You can win combats when your 2/2 or 3/3 runs into theirs, and on defense flashing this in and double blocking lets you take down something bigger (sometimes without losing anything). Having a 1/2 flyer as a leftover isn’t bad, and I think this pesky bug will be a solid playable.
Limited: 2.5 // 3.5
This is a build-around, but an extreme one. I’d play this in any deck with even two Gates, as a 1/3 that draws a card on damage makes all your bounce and removal spells very dangerous. Once you have 5+ Gates it becomes a sick threat and can take over a game with ease. Don’t assume only the Gate deck wants this—it’ll go quickly in most any Draft.
There aren’t a ton of enticing Auras, which makes me a lot less inclined to run the Humongulus (great name notwithstanding). Against a ground-based aggro deck with more removal and fewer pump spells, this can be a great sideboard card, and it can (eventually) kill a control deck if need be. It’s filler, but filler that does at least have high upside.
Limited: 3.0 // 4.0
The split ratings here are to convey how good this is in a normal blue deck versus how good this is in a deck built for the late game. Paying 6 mana (4 of which is blue) to steal one creature is still pretty good, and most decks can swing that as long as you play like 10 Islands. Where this becomes a flat-out bomb is when you make a ramp/control deck with a lot of defensive measures, and reliably can cast this to take two creatures. That’s almost impossible to beat, and a very big incentive to build such a deck.
I, for one, am mesmerized. Even if you discount my soft spot for octopi, this card is just a beating. A 4/5 hexproof for 5 with upside is awesome, and the Illusions give you a lot of breathing room. You’ll often want to chump with one and conserve the other, just so hexproof sticks around, but no matter how you use this it will be great.
Meme Potential: 4.0
You already get to play as many copies of any card you draft as you want, so that line isn’t relevant here. As a mill win condition, this is pretty hard to get going—one card per turn isn’t enough, and getting four Advisors isn’t trivial. This looks fun, but not good.
Drawing three and scrying three sets up your long game quite nicely. This isn’t cheap, but if you can stabilize this will win you the game in short order. I’d mostly recommend playing this main phase, but if you have a bunch of counterspells and tricks, you may end up playing it at instant speed.
While I love taking the opportunity to draw four, this costs enough mana and requires discarding, making it a niche control card more than a card I’d happily take early. Most decks just aren’t in the market to pay 6 mana and not affect the board, even if it’s an effect I like building around.
Formats That Cost Too Much Money: 3.5
I like Pteramander, even if you aren’t going to activate it for much less than 5 or 6. I’m still in for a flying man that eventually turns into a Dragon, and if you have a five or six spells in your deck, that’s enough to adapt by the time you hit 6 mana.
This is great early but falls off a lot in the late game. The circumstances where I wouldn’t mind running a Quench or two are the following:
- Fast aggro decks where you’re focused on winning the early/midgame
- Control decks that need low drops, especially if they have 1-2 Prying Eyes to discard late game Quenches.
Where I don’t like this is midrange, because you too often will end up with dead Quenches in your hand, so keep that in mind.
Sage’s Row Savant
You never feel too bad about running this, as it helps smooth out your draws at every point of the game. It’s never amazing, but cards like this do a great job of making sure you have enough playables.
A 1/4 flyer for 3 is a great defensive play, and plenty of control decks will be interested in this. I don’t care whether you have white mana or not because giving it vigilance is essentially meaningless, so this is actually just a mono-blue card.
Shimmer of Possibility
It’s always fine to play this card because it helps you find your good cards (or lands), but you often just won’t have space for it. It isn’t a card that actually does anything, and my first impulse is to take it about the middle of the pack.
I spy a fantastic card. This ends up as a 4/5 flyer by itself, which is already great, and it can lift your other creatures to the sky as well. That’s a lot of power for just 4 mana, and I’m taking this early whenever I can.
This is the bread and butter of blue commons, just disgustingly eel-flavored. What will usually end up happening is that your opponent has to let this through for a few turns, and you can cast all your other spells instead of adapting it. Eventually you have nothing better to do, and this adapts into a beater, giving you a great deal overall.
Here’s another defensive removal spell and like others, is good for control decks and flyer decks. It’s not a catch-all, but it’s cheap enough to put your opponent in a bind.
Sphinx of Foresight
The opening hand scry bit is cute, but ultimately not a big upside. The 4/4 flyer for 4 part, on the other hand, that’s just money. It’s also nice that if this survives you get to scry each turn, not that the card needs it.
At 6 mana, this looks expensive, but I still think it’s a good deal. You’re bouncing more than 6 mana worth of creatures most of the time, and putting one on top means you aren’t down a card either. I like this in any style of deck, though it’s at its best in aggro.
Cancel is only looking OK in this format, and this is essentially the same thing. Milling them for three randomly doesn’t do much, and may even be bad for you if they have graveyard synergies. I’ll play this in or against control, but am not excited about it.
Verity Circle is a strange card, but I think control decks will want it. By itself, it’s 5 mana to draw a card and keep a creature off your back, which is a complementary pair of abilities. If you can add a couple tap effects (Chillbringer being the best of them), it becomes very strong, and once you’ve drawn enough cards you can usually take some time off to deploy them.
Wall of Lost Thoughts
At uncommon, I still don’t see a mill deck happening. That makes this a mediocre playable at best.
Windstorm Drake needs friends, but gives the opponent the business once it has a couple. I’d slam this in any deck looking to lean on flyers, which is definitely Azorius and sometimes Simic.
Top 3 Blue Commons
Blue has some great commons, and it’s looking quite good in this set. I could see it playing aggro or control, and both look well supported.