September 12, 2018

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Daily Dose of Guilds of Ravnica – Choose your own adventure

Welcome all to the Daily Dose of Guilds of Ravnica, where today I’m looking at cards that provide you with some choice.

Yesterday I talked about split cards, which offer you a choice between two different spells. Today’s cards offer a different kind of choice. Each card provides a different design spin on choice, and will make you think about how to use them. Of the cards I’m talking about today, one makes you choose what you want when you cast it, and another lets you make that choice later.

Choice in Magic is one of the greatest parts about the game, as different players will take these same spells and find ways to use them differently. How you choose to use them could depend on the state of the battlefield, an opponents’ spell, or even your life total. Let’s see what choices Guilds of Ravnica brings to us today.

Of the cards players will miss in Standard this rotation, Abrade is near the top of the list. Well here comes a creature doing it’s best impression of that spell, Goblin Cratermaker:

goblincratermaker

I’m a huge fan of this card since it gives you so many options. You begin with a 2/2 Goblin for two mana, which is a solid base. Plus there are plenty of recent cards that take advantage of having Goblins on the battlefield, so there’s some synergy there too.

Its greater value comes in its ability, though.

Here is the choice before you: You can play Goblin Cratermaker early and have the threat of activation any time you need to kill a creature or colourless nonland permanent. Or you can leave in your hand and almost use it as a sorcery speed spell.

The word colourless might seem odd, as that currently only applies to artifacts in Standard. In other formats though, colourless means it can take down Eldrazi and Planeswalkers like Ugin, the Spirit Dragon and Karn Liberated. Modern Tron players will not like to see this card coming out of their opponent’s sideboard.

Next up is a card that gives you some options so that you aren’t left with a dead card in your hand. Let’s take a look at Deafening Clarion:

deafeningclarion

One of the key sweeper cards rotating out of Standard is Sweltering Suns. Like Deafening Clarion, it does three damage to each creature. Both cards also provide some choice. For three mana, you can cycle Sweltering Suns if you don’t need it. Deafening Clarion, on the other hand, gives you a second option of giving all your creatures lifelink if a sweeper’s not what you need.

Or heck, you could do both! Deal three damage to all creatures and be left with your larger creatures that have lifelink to get some damage in through combat. That added versatility makes this card easier to play in your main deck than just using it out of your sideboard.

Finally, I want to talk about a big green creature. We’ve seen a lot of those recently in the form of Gigantosaurus and the buy-a-box promo for this set, Impervious Greatwurm. This one isn’t quite that big, but it’s big for just four mana. Here is Nullhide Ferox:

nullhideferox

A 6/6 for four mana with Hexproof. Hmm, interesting.

I try and view this more as any time you would like to target Nullhide Ferox with a spell you must pay two mana, which is basically what will happen. That means that your opponent will be forced to spend extra resources to try and kill it. However, at 6/6, they might not have anything to kill it even if they could target it. Its drawback comes in the form of not being able to cast any noncreature spells while it’s on the battlefield. But as far as drawbacks come, that’s not too big of one. After all, you can always build your deck around having most, if not all, creatures anyway. There are enough creatures that have spell-like enter the battlefield abilities (Ravenous Chupacabra, for example) that it shouldn’t be that difficult of a deckbuilding challenge.

Plus if you really need to cast a noncreature spell, you can always spend the two mana yourself. It’s funny that you can use Negate to counter any removal spell they put towards Nullhide Ferox since it loses all abilities when your opponent spends the two mana needed to make it lose Hexproof. This includes the line that says, “You can’t cast noncreature spells.”.

The choice is now in your hands. Which of these cards will you put in your deck first? How many of each card will you play with? How quickly can you take down your opponent? Guilds of Ravnica continues to deliver some thought-provoking cards.

Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose of Guilds of Ravnica. Join me again tomorrow as I continue week two of preview season by looking at more of the new cards that come out on October 5th!

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