Daily Dose of Guilds of Ravnica – It’s time to Ral-ly behind this card
Welcome all to the Daily Dose of Guilds of Ravnica preview season. If anyone isn’t familiar with this article series, I break down and analyze the latest preview cards for the new set and get you ready for when they release. This time around we are back in Ravnica with Guilds of Ravnica which releases on October 5th. Don’t worry, as usual you will be able to play these cards a week early thanks to prereleases at your local game store the weekend of September 29th-30th. Today I’m going to jump into previews by starting off with a card involving a new mechanic from Guilds of Ravnica called Jump-Start. After that I look at the return of a planeswalker we haven’t seen since Dragon’s Maze.
I want to start off with a card that has an ability we have seen on many cards over time, and that is cloning. Thanks to a new mechanic, this one could be a little different. Here is Quasiduplicate.
We have seen similar cards like this in the past with Cackling Counterpart and Fated Infatuation. This can be cast only at sorcery speed which makes it a bit worse, but still being able to make a clone of a creature for only 3 mana is quite strong. There are some good possibilities for early creatures that you can copy with it. Merfolk Mistbinder will give you two 3/3’s and double pump all of your other Merfolk creatures. Copying Merfolk Trickster will allow you to tap down some opposing threats to get in some early damage. This can be repeated the following turn thanks to Jump-Start. Copying a Silvergill Adept will allow you to draw a card. Making a copy of Supreme Phantom could lead to a large Spirit army. If you really want to go crazy, you can copy a Timestream Navigator and start taking some extra turns. The value of this card comes from having some good non-Legendary creatures in your deck to utilize with it. Thanks to the new Jump-Start ability you can use it for two-turns in a row to start growing your army on the battlefield.
Sometimes when they reuse a planeswalker in a new iteration, most of its abilities are like the original one, but this not the case with our first returning planeswalker in Guilds of Ravnica. Here is Ral, Izzet Viceroy.
This planeswalker looks to do it all. It gives you card advantage, protects itself and has an ultimate ability that can win the game. Let’s break down Ral, Izzet Viceroy’s abilities.
[+1]: Look at the top two cards of your library. Put one of them into your hand and the other into your graveyard. – This provides both card selection and card advantage in the same ability. Often you will see a planeswalker ability with one or the other, but not both. This can become even more of an advantage if the card you are putting into your graveyard is one with Jump-Start. You will be able to get a free spell that you can cast.
[-3]: Ral, Izzet Viceroy deals damage to target creature equal to the total number of instant and sorcery cards you own in exile and in your graveyard. – Being in red and blue, your deck will most likely have plenty of spells that you are casting throughout the course of the game. Since it counts both exile and graveyard, all the spells you have cast with Jump-Start throughout the game that have been exiled still count towards the damage total you will be dealing with this ability.
[-8]: You get an emblem with “Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell, this emblem deals 4 damage to any target and your draw two cards.” – This is an ultimate that will win you games. Every instant and sorcery you cast from that point in the game will allow you to damage creatures or your opponent and net you two extra cards as well. Those cards will allow you to rinse and repeat this process. Unless you are very far behind, this ultimate ability should help you win the game. Since Ral, Izzet Viceroy starts at five loyalty, it shouldn’t take long to get this ability activated.
There you have it folks, the start of preview season has begun, and we are off to the races. Guilds of Ravnica already looks like it will be interesting thanks to some new mechanics and some returning planeswalkers. Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose. Join me each weekday until release for more articles on the cards that you will opening at your local prerelease.