Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Return to Ravnica previews, Part 1

As you know, I have officially Chosen My Guild, and I am firmly aligned with the Selesnya Conclave. Why? Because deep down, I am a gentle soul with a song in my heart, and in the Conclave there's always someone to sing the harmonies. (Also, I like tokens.)

So far, we've seen six Selesnya-watermarked cards spoiled, plus the two known dual lands and Rootborn Defenses (which isn't in the official spoiler yet).

Eyes in the Skies

Eyes in the Skies seems nice. It's your basic Populate card. From the look of it, it's at that sweet spot for Limited where it's playable on its own as a slightly overcosted Midnight Haunting, but highly desirable in a Selesnya deck that can make use of the Populate ability. The basic Midnight Haunting mode is fine on its own, but if you have a better token, such as a 2/2 Knight from Selesnya Charm or, heaven forbid, an 8/8 from Grove of the Guardian, you can get extra value. And if you don't have any other tokens, it also turns on your other Populate spells. I expect it to be a solid role-player for limited.

Heroes’ Reunion

This is a reprint, of course. It's still unplayable. I wonder how much life it would have to gain to not be unplayable. Probably ten? Eleven? It would still be pretty weak.

Selesnya Charm

 Awesome! Look at the baseline on this thing. Bare minimum, it's a 2/2 vigilance flash for two mana who is also a token. That's borderline playable already. But it can also be removal, or...well, you can read the card as well as I can, right? All these effects are playable and powerful (well, powerful in limited, playable in constructed), and mashing them together in one card is quite nice and makes me proud to be a Selesnyan.

Wayfaring Temple

Scion of the Wild was pretty fun in the original Ravnica's Selesnya deck. And lo and behold, not only does the Beast of Burden return, but it gets a nice triggered ability to boot! I don't actually expect to connect with Wayfaring Temple very often. If it's small, they'll block and trade off. If it's big, they'll chump block. But hey, Selesnya Charm gives trample, so who knows? And even as a vanilla Scion of the Wild, it could be a lot worse. Man, Fists of Ironwood on this dude would be nice.

Dryad Militant

What, no tokens? Okay, in fairness, a hybrid Savannah Lions is pretty nice, and the extra hosing ability is gravy. It's very Spike-y, though, and not the sort of card that excites me. Mana efficiency and marginal advantage? Meh. I'd rather have tokens.

Grove of the Guardian

Now that's a land. And a prerelease card. So this is the big populate target? I like it. I expect to be slamming this in multiple Commander decks soon enough. It mostly speaks for itself, I guess, but I am a big fan of cards like this that make mana and also have another good effect. One of the worst feelings in Commander--or at least in all of my Commander decks--is missing land drops. Seven-land openers are snap-keeps. Missed the ninth land? Sad face. This type of card lets you increase your land count for those sweet, sweet land drops, but without the worry of getting flooded. What's better than hitting all your land drops? Hitting all your land drops and a giant 8/8 Elemental!

There's still lots of tokeny goodness that hasn't been spoiled yet, so I guess this is Part 1? I could talk about cards from other guilds...nah. I've backed my dromad. To be continued.

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