Sick of It: Ravnica Allegiance

Judith, the Scourge Diva

Judith, the Scourge Diva

I saw Sam Stoddard mention that he had helped with the design of the card, but didn’t come up with the “sweet name.” A sweet name. Judith. LOL. Nothing says fearsome and cool Rakdos badass like the name of your aunt who brings the same casserole to every holiday gathering. What else was under consideration? Pamela, Scalper of Dissidents. Diane, the Blood Witch. Seriously, their creative team names a Rakdos legend Judy and you sycophants are lapping it up because they printed it and marketed it as cool. I want to just end the article here and make you all sit with the fact that you acted like this is cool. Ruth, Flayer of Mortals. Janice, the Pit Queen. Angela, Torturer of Souls. If you think Judith is a cool name I challenge you to produce a name that you don’t find cool.

Arrester’s Zeal

Arrester's Zeal

Law is the light of civilization. Yeah, the bright light they shine into the eyes of a member of the disenfranchised community they’re over-policing.

Summary Judgment and Depose // Deploy

Summary JudgmentDepose // Deploy

These card names and the keyword addendum are wonderful. What a fun flavor for a guild.

Rakdos is having a carnival of blood and mayhem—Azorius fans get to dig into some legal jargon and pro-cop propaganda. Can’t wait for the next sweet keyword like, “Power of Attorney—You may add a new target of this spell while it is on the stack by paying U/W.” If that doesn’t make you run to your local MagicConParty, nothing will. (Admit it, for a second you believed that MagicConParty was a thing and you just missed the announcement.)

Sharktocrab

Sharktocrab

“Fish Octopus Crab.” Obviously it should be Shark Octopus Crab or Fish Cephalopod Crustacean. They do oracle updates to give old creatures the right creature types, make hounds into dogs, and crap like that, but they can’t fix this?

Haazda Officer

Haazda Officer

“Who knows what a fish octopus crab can do!” Oh my God, the character dialog is constrained by the oracle creature types? I love this. It’s a shark. Nobody says, “Get off the beach—a large fish has been sighted.” People just say, “shark!” So if you see a giant shark with tentacles you’re going to use the word shark to describe this thing, I guarantee it. Fish is going to make it seem like Nemo is flapping around after you, when it’s actually a 100-foot-tall hammerhead.

And notice when Wizards comes up with something players like, e.g. the crazy Frog Lizard whatever meme in Simic, look at how much they will lean into it to try and leverage the joke. There is nothing here with this Haazda Officer flavor text—nothing at all really except “maybe if we put the type line onto another card, people will chuckle for the 20th time over the same punchline?”

Smothering Tithe

Smothering Tithe

The art was originally commissioned for an internal presentation about the user experience of acquiring a playset of any new mythic on MTGO and Arena.

Spirit of the Spires

Spirit of the Spires

These Spirit influencers want you to believe they live this life and get these candid shots in stride wearing expensive rags but in reality they don’t even enjoy the vacation—it’s all a show. Her social media manager is out of frame shouting, “flex those cheeks, Spell Queller has 100k more followers than you now.”

Syndicate Messenger

Syndicate Messenger

This card is a subtle homage to the drug syndicates flipping birds in the ghetto to signal the arrival of police.

Arrester’s Admonition

Arrester's Admonition

“Law is the voice of reason.” Stop.

Chillbringer

Chillbringer

Nickname for my unemployed burnout neighbor (who we called Neighbro) back before California legalized.

Coral Commando

Coral Commando

What happened when they eventually ran out of clean underwear on The Walking Dead.

Mass Manipulation and Hydroid Krasis

Mass ManipulationHydroid Krasis

Super elegant to have XX on one rare/mythic and “do half of X” on another. Why not just make Hydroid Krasis XXUG and have it come in with twice X counters? No rounding, similar math.

Skitter Eel

Skitter Eel

Let’s talk about adapt. Monstrous was perfect flavor, but adapt? Sometimes adapting means getting smaller, changing colors, whatever. These mutants all have a preset way of “adapting” and it always involves getting bigger/stronger? MaRo said it’s different from monstrous because there will be ways to use the counters as a resource but there barely is. Three thumbs down.

Sphinx of Foresight

Sphinx of Foresight

Fans of the column, how did you guys not make my nickname for Aaron Forsythe, “Errant Foresight,” stick? Get back to work and stay on it.

Wall of Lost Thoughts

Wall of Lost Thoughts

[Political joke my editor won’t run.]

Bankrupt in Blood

Bankrupt in Blood

[Foreign policy joke my editor won’t run.]

Catacomb Crocodile

Catacomb Crocodile

Clear the Stage

Clear the Stage

Costa Mesa Women’s Club flashbacks (I don’t care how few people will get this reference—it’s not getting cut).

Debtors’ Transport

Debtors' Transport

Ari gets quoted again here. Props to him for beating me to the punch a few times.

Drill Bit

Drill Bit

I prefer “wint joke.”

Font of Agonies

Font of Agonies

Comic sans.

Grotesque Demise

Grotesque Demise

MTGO State of the Program as of January 2019.

Gutterbones

Gutterbones

If any of you take someone bowling on a first or second date and they can’t handle themselves on the lanes, promise me you will store their number on your phone as Gutterbones. Tweet the screenshot at me and I will send you a signed CFB token (this will force my editor to finally make a Sperling’s Sick of It token).

Ill-Gotten Inheritance

Ill-Gotten Inheritance

[Tax policy joke my editor won’t run.]

Orzhov Enforcer

Orzhov Enforcer

You can just not put flavor text on a card if you can’t think of anything. Do they know that?

Plague Wight

Plague Wight

Oh sure, everyone in your family just gets a cauldron hauling job right out of reanimation, but wight privilege doesn’t exist.

Thirsting Shade

Thirsting Shade

Bye Felipe.

Undercity’s Embrace

Undercity's Embrace

You can just not put flavor text on a card if you can’t think of anything. Do they know that?

Deface

Deface

Goblin Gathering

Goblin Gathering

They never use reminder text on the cards that actually confuse people. (And this will be this column’s card that inspires people to comment, “I don’t see what’s confusing?” to show how damn smart they are.)

Light Up the Stage

Light Up the Stage

“‘Places, everyone!’ –Judith.” Judith is such a badass. Amazing job, Wizards! Directing her minions like the cast of a local theater production of Mamma Mia! How does Wizards Creative Team hit it out of the park every time?

Tin Street Dodger

Tin Street Dodger

A Dodger that fights Giants in the flavor text. My favorite card in the set.

Gatebreaker Ram

Gatebreaker Ram

Why does this get buffed by your own Gates and not care about opposing Gates? And if it’s better than good ol’ Battering Ram why can Walls block it?

Guardian Project

Guardian Project

Simic’s strength comes from its diversity. Round of applause. So damn brave. The giant shark with tentacles really brings a unique set of life experiences to every meeting.

Rampage of the Clans

Rampage of the Clans

You can just not put flavor text on a card if you can’t think of anything. Do they know that?

Wilderness Reclamation

Wilderness Reclamation

Chapin didn’t have a number to join Play Design, or you weren’t willing to pay the number? We deserve to know at this point.

Domri, Chaos Bringer

Domri, Chaos Bringer

Art request was for tusks and raider. Artist heard “Tuscan raider” and had to fix it later.

Ethereal Absolution

Ethereal Absolution

“Time to let the dead be dead.” Makes Spirits that stick around. Hmm.

High Alert

High Alert

Losing to this in Limited is for sure the most frustrating thing that can happen to you in Ravnica Allegiance Limited. Why is it that land destruction is too griefy but this card is allowed to exist? At least if you’re going to replace chat with emotes and print a card like this, “What happens when you don’t draw the High Alert?” should be a prepacked emote.

Imperious Oligarch

Imperious Oligarch

I just hope she doesn’t run again in 2020.

Lavinia, Azorius Renegade

Lavinia, Azorius Renegade

Pretty confusing to have such similar effects that are mechanically different on the same card. Also, has anything ever died a more painful and clear death (time to let the dead be dead I suppose) than MaRo’s “we don’t do multicolor if it could be mono-color” answer key? I think the only thing blue about this card is that it dies to Pyroblast in Vintage and Legacy.

Rubblebelt Runner

Rubblebelt Runner

The flavor text says they ambush people, but that others keep a safe distance. That’s not how ambushing works. That’s not how any of this works.

Senate Guildmage

Senate Guildmage

Gain 2 life on another Guildmage from this block. Too much to ask for 20 unique abilities a creature could tap for?

Collision // Colossus

Collision // Colossus

“Colossus” takes the cake for stupidest half of any split card ever designed, knocking last set’s Statue from the top spot. That’s just not how pump spells are named. Or any spell that isn’t a colossus.

Carnival // Carnage

Carnival // Carnage

Time to once again link to my favorite video:

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