Previous Ravnica Allegiance Reviews
This one is a little hard to nail down because I’m not sure what the average Azorius/Orzhov deck will look like, but it’s a powerful effect if you have 14+ creatures in your deck. If you can get +3/+3, the card is quite strong, and it’s not that hard to imagine getting there.
Angel of Grace
It doesn’t get much better than this. Not only is this a huge flash flyer that is cheap and great at ambushing, it can also save you in even the most dire situations. You could take a lot away from this card and it would still be great, which is a sign of a true bomb. If you draw this early, you can pick off an attacker and start smashing the opponent. Later in the game, it saves you from lethal, and you may even want to trade this off (or chump) so that you can go back up to 10 on your next turn. This is a great card, and one that does well in almost any situation.
Limited: 1.0 // 3.0
This is a build-around for sure, as you need to gain 4+ life before it’s worth paying 6 for a 3/4 flyer. I’m excited about the Gate deck, as it looks like it’s getting a lot of solid payoffs this time around.
I like Arrester’s Zeal quite a bit. 1 mana for a +2/+2 is usually a solid playable, and giving it potential as a finisher really pushes this over the top. The only thing that quenches my zeal a little is that both Azorius and Orzhov have some defensive aspects to them, which makes combat tricks a bit less appealing. Still, the rate on this is quite good, and I suspect it’ll be a card you’re happy to play.
Bring to Trial
At 3 mana I’m likely to main deck the first copy of this almost every time. You won’t want to run multiples unless the format features a ton of gigantic monsters. I would run as many as you have in Sealed, though.
The floor on this is pretty high—it’s a 3/3 for 4, which is at least a card. In the best case scenario, it leads to a ton of damage, both via the extra power and the fact that it enables your 2/2s to attack into 3/3s. The more aggressive you are, the better this gets, but it’s a fine playable in your average midrange deck too. It is very important to have a curve to maximize this, so focus on getting good 2s and 3s if you have a couple of Stalwarts.
The 2-mana 1/3 flyer is a classic, and tends to be better than it looks. I’m usually in for the first of these, and even two of them are solid if your curve needs to be lower. It just happens that these stats and cost are a good combination, and with all the 1/1 flyers from afterlife, this could be even better than normal.
Expose to Daylight
As usual, I like sideboarding disenchants in Draft and main decking them in Sealed. This is no different, so I’d recommend choosing wisely when to expose yourself.
In a close race this will often gain you a good amount of life (or force the opponent to take a turn off of playing spells). That’s good text on a 3/3 for 3, making this a solid addition to any white deck, whether it’s aggressive or controlling.
I’m not a huge fan of 3/2s for 3, as they trade down in combat too often for my liking. Pumping a creature makes this a little more appealing, but it’s still not enough to make it more than a filler.
Hero of Precinct One
It’s funny that a lowly Precinct Captain beats a Hero, but I’m still happy to play this whenever I can get it. It won’t be hard to make a couple of tokens over the course of the game, and once you get the first one you are already profiting well. This does lend itself to an aggressive deck, but even in a control deck it’s going to be a solid performer, as you can use it to generate a stream of chump blockers.
There are a lot of good bears in this set, and this one is giving out free hugs. You don’t need a token or life gain theme to run this—as long as you have a decent amount of creatures you’ll be happy.
The value on this goes up dramatically when you have good enters-the-battlefield effects on your creatures, and it’s a solid counter to removal as well. I’m a little less excited about trying to ambush enemy creatures with it, as a lot can go wrong and first strike is not always enough to win a combat.
Knight of Sorrows
To my great sorrow, you can only play so many 5-drops in your deck. That said, this is a good one, as it will often trade off and net you a 1/1 in the process. It’s also a nice last-ditch defender, as it can step in front of two huge monsters and buy you a ton of time.
This card is awesome in both form and function. It’s an enormous beast for 5 mana, and if the opponent does kill it, you might get some nice ETB triggers. The biggest risk with this is a Pacifism effect, as you lose the Battlement and all of its passengers.
Ministrant of Obligation
I really like this card. I’m not obliged to like everything that provides card advantage, but I do like this one. It trades off and leaves you with a substantial board presence, and combines nicely with sacrifice effects if your opponent isn’t cooperating to kill it.
In a world of 1/1 flyers, a 3/1 seems particularly poorly-positioned. We all knew cats were worse than dogs, and in this set, they are worse than bears too.
Rally to Battle
Limited: 2.5 // 3.5
In a creature-heavy deck, this has a very high ceiling. When it’s good, it will often be great, as you can easily get a 2- or 3-for-1 in combat. It’s pretty sweet that attacking with everything is hard to punish, since the opponent can’t even attack back without getting ambushed. The average deck will play this, and aggressive decks full of creatures will rally love it.
This is a really good dog. It defends you early, and defends any of your creatures late. It’s a potent on-board trick that really makes your best creatures better—it ensures they survive through most dangers.
Sentinel’s Mark is an extremely punishing trick. If you land it and win a combat, having a +1/+2 and vigilance left over is huge. It also gives you the option of mainphasing it for a big life swing, and the two options together make a potent card indeed. Mark my words—this is the real deal.
Ground-based attack decks won’t want this, but everyone else will (control decks and flyer decks most prominently). It’s an efficient way to stop an attacker, and losing flying adds some nice flavor and a real gameplay advantage.
Even if this was just “make a Treasure per turn,” I wouldn’t be a big fan, and this is largely worse. Yes, it’s a little better against someone drawing a lot of extra cards, but that’s going to come up less than the opponent deciding they can just pay for it.
Spirit of the Spires
A good-rate flyer that makes your other flyers better is an effect I’m always in for, and this is especially good because it slots well into both Azorius and Orzhov.
This is a defensive removal spell, but it’s cheap enough and effective enough that I don’t see cutting it unless your deck is both very aggressive and has no flyers. We’ll get a better picture later, but my summary judgment is that this is a good card.
It’s all about sending a message, and afterlife on ensures that something is getting through. This gives you just enough stats to make it worth it, and I wouldn’t cut Syndicate Messenger unless I had a ton of playables.
Tenth District Veteran
Everyone from the 10th District really needs to step up their game. The Guard was bad in Guilds of Ravnica, and the Veteran here isn’t much better. Untapping your own creatures during your attack step isn’t that valuable, and a 2/3 for 3 is not a good set of stats.
In Draft, the fancy lines of text here won’t come up all that much, but a 2/1 afterlife 1 for 2 mana is a great deal. Plus, every now and then this will make combat tricks or removal hard for your opponent to cast, which is just gravy.
This is essentially a gold card, and a solid one at that. It’s at its best against Gruul and Simic, but will do decent defensive work in most matchups.
While this isn’t broken, it’s quite strong. It’s almost always going to be cast with the addendum bonus, but in a pinch can be used to save your team. Giving your whole squad a permanent +1/+1 bonus and getting a risk-free attack is huge, making this a great card in any creature-heavy deck.
While this is a fine deal for 6 mana, there just isn’t a pressing need to pick 6-drops early, and I suspect this will be pretty replaceable. I still like one at the top of the curve, so if you’re lacking you can bump up the rating later in the Draft.
Top 3 White Commons
I wouldn’t be surprised if Arrester’s Zeal ended up edging out Bring to Trial, but that’ll depend on how aggressive white decks end up being. These are solid cards, no more, and nothing from white makes me want to jump in (at common, at least).