Planning to get into Ravnica? Here’s a quick guide to the upcoming guilds in Return to Ravnica.
Unlike most other settings in the Magic Multiverse, Ravnica’s plane has a more urban landscape. Guilds of two color combinations are formed to represent political power in this world. Return to Ravnica will reintroduce five out of the ten original guilds. In case you aren’t familiar with them, Return to Ravnica will have:
Azorius – A white/blue guild that runs the government system of Ravnica. They are a highly organized group valuing logic and the law. Their new effect mechanic is Detain which prevents a creature from attacking, blocking or activating its abilities if a condition is met. Detain reminds me of the card “Pacifism”.
Who would belong in Azorius? Spock from Star Trek, Phoenix Wright from Ace Attorney
Selesnya – A white/green guild who believes unity as well as peace. They are led by a group of Dryads. Selesnya’s new effect mechanic is Populate which puts a copy of a token creature you control. Populate reminds me of the previous mechanic “Proliferate”.
Who would belong in Selesnya? The Jedi Council or the Clone Troopers of Star Wars
Izzet – A blue/red guild responsible for the infrastructures of Ravnica. Izzet members are either engineers or mad scientists. They value science with a passion…especially if they result in explosions. Izzet’s new effect mechanic is Overload where if you pay more for a spell, it increases the number of targets of that spell essentially “exploding” it. Overload’s ability is reminds me of the optional “Kicker cost” in past sets.
Who would belong in Izzet? Adam and Jamie from Mythbusters, The Elric Brothers from Fullmetal Alchemist
Rakdos – A black/red guild known for reckless destruction. While they’re not busy inflicting pain on their victims, members of Rakdos generally work in the mines underground. Rakdos new effect mechanic is Unleash which gives a creature a +1/+1 counter when cast but in return they cannot block. Unleash is an aggressive but reckless ability.
Who would belong in Rakdos? Hiruma Yoichi from Eyeshield 21, The Prime Evils from Diablo
Golgari – A black/green guild who values both life and death. This guild features farmers and skilled necromancers. Their new effect mechanic is Scavenge which exiles the creature card with Scavenge from your graveyard to put a number of +1/+1 counters equal to its power on another creature. This is basically a “Flashback” in creature form as it translates the Golgari’s recycling nature.
Who would belong in Golgari? The Flood from Halo, Aliens from the Alien franchise
Return to Ravnica officially launches October 5 2012
If you are new to the Ravnica plane, I would definitely invest in the relatively inexpensive Booster Battle Pack with your friend (splitting the cost in half). The Battle Pack is a mini-toolkit including two 22 semi-random pile of cards -each one belonging in one randomized guild. In addition, there’s 1 booster pack per player giving each player plenty of options to build their 40 card sealed deck. The Battle Pack is a quick convenient way to expose players to the guilds and their play style. Experienced players can use this to have their own little “guild vs guild” battle.
I predict Return to Ravnica will be the strongest set in the block and I definitely recommend to check out a booster or two when it comes out. Stay tuned for my upcoming review.