Wizards of the Coast has moved away from the block format and is marking the occasion with a return to one of Magic: The Gathering's most popular planes – Ravnica. Guilds of Ravnica released on 5 October 2018 and contains 264 cards. It features five of Ravnica's ten guilds – Izzet (U/R), Selesnya (G/W), Dimir (U/B), Golgari (B/G), and Boros (W/R). As such, we will not be seeing the other five guilds in this set. But have no fear, they'll be back as the next three expansions will all take place in Ravnica, as Bolas prepares his invasion of the popular city. Booster packs have a manufacturer standard retail price (MSRP) of 3,99 €. Now let's get to the good stuff!
Perhaps most important to any new set are the mechanics that define it. Guilds of Ravnica introduces five new mechanics, one for each of the guilds and we'll break them all down right here.
The Boros Legion is getting Mentor, a mechanics that puts counters on weaker attacking creatures. Cards like Legion Warboss pull double duty, creating goblin tokens that it then pumps up with its mentoring.
The Izzet League is getting a dangerous new mechanic called Jump-Start. Similar to Flashback, Jump-Start allows you to recast cards from your graveyard, albeit with an additional cost of discarding a card. In exchange, the Jump-Start cost will always be the same as the original card's cost, and sometimes discarding cards is a good thing. Cards like Quasiduplicate allow you to copy a creature you control twice, provided you have the cards necessary and the mana.
The Selesnya Conclave is getting an old mechanic, but one with a lot of potential – Convoke. Convoke allows players to tap creatures instead of mana to reduce the cost of the cards. Usually, this is best on cards that are naturally useable, but now they are made even better with the convoke keywork, like the new Conclave Tribunal, a four mana Oblivion Ring that can cost as little as zero mana.
The Golgari Swarm is getting Undergrowth, a very Golgari mechanic that gives cards additional power based on the number of creatures in the graveyard. For example, Necrotic Wound is a potentially insane removal, being a one black mana instant, given that the deck can fill it's graveyard with creatures quickly.
Finally, the Dimir get a new take on one of Magic's most powerful and classic mechanics – Scry. The Dimir are getting Surveil, which allows players to look at the top X cards of their library and then either put them on top or in their graveyard. This is a huge boon to any graveyard strategy in any format, given a powerful enough card is printed. Options like Thought Erasure should at least make for some interesting sideboard considerations in the right deck.
Ravnica is historically home to some of Magic's most powerful cards, from Modern and Legacy staples like Dark Confidant to the powerful Modern Shock Lands. Guilds of Ravnica is no different, providing five of the ten Shock Lands once again, of course corresponding to the five guilds appearing in the expansion. Have no fear though, the other five are confirmed for the next expansion, when the remaining guilds are introduced. Ravnica expansions are always a good time for both constructed and limited play, and there is no doubt that Guilds of Ravnica will deliver as well. So, get ready to swear your allegiance and rejoin the multicolor wackiness that is the City of Guilds!