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September 18, 2018

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Daily Dose of Guilds of Ravnica – You get a counter, you get a counter, you all get a +1/+1 counter

Welcome all to the Daily Dose of Guilds of Ravnica where we are into our third week of previews and there are still some great cards to preview from the new set. Today I want to talk about a couple creatures that involve +1/+1 counters from Selesnya and a spell from Dimir that mimics the ability of one of the greatest cards ever printed. In looking over what I’ve seen in Guilds of Ravnica so far, I’ve been very impressed with what Dimir and Golgari have had to offer. I’ve found that the other guilds have been lacking in card excitement level. This changes for the Selesnya guild with me today thanks to the two new cards I’ll be talking about today.

Before I talk about those two Selesnya cards I want to talk about a blue instant spell that you are sure to be seeing played in the coming months. Here is Mission Briefing.

missionbriefing

Snapcaster Mage is one of the most powerful and popular cards of all time. Mission Briefing provides a similar ability without the 2/1 body that accompanies it with Snapcaster Mage. Does that mean that you shouldn’t play Mission Briefing? Of course not, it’s still a very strong card and here’s why. There have been many cards made that allow you to return an instant or sorcery card from your graveyard back to your hand. Some of these cards have even been printed recently like the two mana Flood of Recollection. This card is the same mana cost as Mission Briefing but never saw any play. The difference is in the subtle changes in the card. First off, it’s an instant which allows you to surprise your opponent during their turn or on your turn in response to them casting a spell. The other small but important difference is the first two words on the card, surveil 2. This allows you to potentially get more targets for Mission Briefing by putting spells into your graveyard. It would be nice to have a 2/1 creature to accompany Mission Briefing, but I still believe that it can accomplish great things in Standard.

There are more choices to be made in Guilds of Ravnica thanks to a new Selesnya card. Here is Knight of Autumn.

knightofautumn

Wow, is there anything this creature can’t do. Move over Reclamation Sage there is a new creature in town and it means business. Let’s break down the 3 options for its enter the battlefield ability.

*Put two +1/+1 counters on Knight of Autumn. – If neither of the two options below will help you out, you can still be left with a solid 4/3 creature for three mana.

*Destroy target artifact or enchantment. – You can also choose Reclamation Sage mode if you want to. There will always be plenty of targets for this ability and you don’t need to worry about bringing it in from your sideboard since it will be main deck playable.

*You gain 4 life. – This option will probably be used the least but is still great in matchups against aggro decks. Sadly Resplendent Angel requires 5 life to make an Angel or this would have been even better.

Don’t forget that this card is a Knight as well and that could come into play with some Standard Knight strategies.

The last card I want to talk about is a creature that is nothing special if cast for its full mana cost but has the potential to be great thanks to Convoke. Here is Venerated Loxodon.

veneratedloxodon

Although on the surface, this looks like a five mana 4/4 creature, the goal would be to cast it on turn three using convoke on two creatures. This would net you a turn three 4/4 creature, plus it gives you a +1/+1 counter on each of the two creatures that convoked it. If the card were to read “2W – Venerated Loxodon – When Venerated Loxodon enters the battlefield add a +1/+1 counter on two target creatures. – 4/4”, I guarantee you would be all over this card. There is a middle ground though where there will be times when you have no creatures on the battlefield and are spending five mana to put a 4/4 creature on the battlefield with no abilities. There are even times you might have up to 5 creatures that you tap to cast Venerated Loxodon. The true power level of this card lies in the deck you build around it and the status of your battlefield.

The prerelease is now one day closer to arriving and my excitement level is at an 11 out of 10. Knight of Autumn seems like it will be a powerhouse in Standard and perhaps even other formats, while Mission Briefing can make Control decks that much better. Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose of Guilds of Ravnica. Join me again tomorrow as the full set is scheduled to be revealed and there will more cards to talk about.