In last week’s article, we took a journey through the Multiverse and explored the rich and deep history of the Plane known as Ravnica and highlighted how it has impacted the world of Magic the Gathering.
As promised, we have returned this week to delve even deeper into this mystical Plane and explore what Magic the Gatherings latest hit expansion set, the “Guilds of Ravnica” has to offer this time around.
At the core of this set, as has been the case with previous Ravnica themed sets, the Guilds of Ravnica block storyline focuses and zooms in on the struggles and conflicts erupting between the different guild houses that vie for control over the Plane of Ravnica.
One common characteristic that you will find within every guild upon Ravnica is that it functions on dual magical colors, blending and weaving the two types of energies together in what sometimes can be described as a miracle of nature and others as a cruel abomination.
Although there are a grand total of ten guilds upon the Plane of Ravnica, the Guilds of Ravnica set includes just five of these guilds, with the other five set to be released in Magic the Gatherings next expansion set, “Ravnica Allegiance” early next year.
It is these first five guilds that we will now explore, together.
The first of the five houses that we are going to explore today is House Dimir, which builds its foundation upon merging both the blue and black colors of mana together.
House Dimir is a guild that will do anything to achieve its goals, choosing to oftentimes work within the “shadows”, summoning mighty demons and specters to their side, such as the Doom Whisperer, or Thief of Sanity.
As previously stated, House Dimir has no trouble using every dirty trick in the book, to achieve their sickening goals, including assassination and extortion.
Those who choose to take up with House Dimir will have at their disposal numerous creature removal and counter spells, as well as having access to the house mechanic “surveil”, which allows you to look into the future and choose the order of the next few cards you draw from your deck, or dispose of them if they are ill fitting to your current strategy.
Unfortunately, as House Dimir prefers to operate from the shadows, this comes with a downfall, as they are greatly lacking in the “powerful” creature department. Meaning that you will have to outwit and outskill your opponents, rather than take them down with pure brute force.
If the House of Dimir is the guild of shadows, then its polar opposite is the Selesnya Conclave, a guild that is dedicated to preserving what it deems to be the “sacred” lands of Ravnica and its people.
The Selesnya Conclave attempts to spread its religious might across the lands of Ravnica and uplift the oppressed and downtrodden, wherever they find them.
Unsurprisingly, with these tenants in mind, the Selesnya Conclave utilizes and blends together the green and white mana sources.
The Selesnya Conclave has the numbers in their favor and they know it. Utilizing a number of sorcery and instant spells, they can summon forth a large army of small creatures that quickly grow in might as they band and work together.
What can only be deemed a miracle of nature, you will then watch as these small creatures help to utilize the “convoke” mechanic of guild Selesnya, which allows you to use your creatures as a mana source, bringing larger, more powerful creatures quickly onto the battlefield, overwhelming your opponents in the process.
For those who prefer the sciences, fortunately, there is a guild for you.
The Izzet League blends the blue and red colors of mana together in a spectacular display of innovation and public works that will marvel any who are fortunate enough to behold them, that is until then blast you out of existence.
The Izzet League recklessly wields a vast arsenal of instant and sorcery spells.
Unlike the House Dimir, who choose to control their opponents with their magics, the Izzet League prefers to simply blast you out of existence, while at the same time building towards a grand finale of magical proportions.
As can be seen above, via the Thousand-Year Storm and the Crackling Drake, which are but two examples of the cards that House Izzet has its disposal, they become increasingly more powerful the more magic that they unleash upon their opponents.
This form of compounding direct damage, in conjunction with powerful draw engines, quickly results in the Izzet League running away with the match.
To be defeated, opponents need to quickly bring them down, unless they wish to face the fully charged might of the Izzet League.
This guild operates within the underbelly of Ravnica, recycling and reusing everything that the massive world spanning city and its inhabitants waste.
The Golgari Swarm combine the green and black colors of mana, utilizing magics of both life and death. They are the masters of the graveyard, while at the same time, the nourishers of Ravnica.
Unlike most other guilds, that seek to protect its members, the Golgari Swarm willingly throws its creatures at its opponents and relishes in death itself, whether it be on their side, or the enemies, they care little, as resources and nutrients can be easily obtained from both.
Their key strategy relies upon death itself, as they slowly, but surely begin to grow their arsenal as their graveyard fills, while their opponents begin to stall out as they run out of spells, or creatures that they can throw at the Golgari Swarm.
The last of the first five houses, within the Guilds of Ravnica are the Boros Legion, who choose to utilize the white and red mana sources to add strength to their armies.
The Boros Legion are known as Ravnica’s army, and act as the security arm of this vast world spanning city, fighting back the forces of evil wherever they find them, they value honor and justice above all else.
Utilizing a combination of both early game creatures and mighty endgame finishing angels, they present a formidable opponent to all who would oppose them.
The Boros Legion excel on the battlefield, using key mechanics such as mentor, first strike and flying. They control the flow of the battle and force their enemies to react to what they do, not the other way around.
They are the strong arm of the law upon the Plane of Ravnica and relish in dishing out justice.
Presented above are the first five Guilds of Ravnica, all of which are impressive and mighty factions in their own right, with key mechanics that are sure to create exciting and dynamic gameplay.
With the upcoming “Ravnica Allegiance” follow up set, we will get the five remaining guilds, of which we will then explore and showcase upon release, just as we have done here.
In next week's article, we will showcase a deck from one of the five guilds that we have been playtesting, highlighting its key strengths and abilities.
Cunning, gile, brute force, or compassion, the Guilds of Ravnica has a faction for everyone. We would love to hear which guild interests you most? Which one best suits your playstyle, your personality?