September 26, 2018

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Daily Dose of Guilds of Ravnica – Combat Tricks and Removal Cards by Colour

Welcome to the Daily Dose of Guilds of Ravnica. We’re continuing Prerelease week with one of my favourite articles to write for each set.

Today I have a guide to help prepare you for this weekend’s Guilds of Ravnica Limited play. I’ll be going over what combat tricks and removal spells you can expect to see broken down by colour. Knowing your cards and what to do with them is often half the battle. You gain an advantage by knowing what your opponent can and can’t cast based on their mana. So here is a colour by colour guide to combat tricks and removal cards for Guilds of Ravnica!

White Combat Tricks and Removal Cards

GRN3-CollartheCulpritGRN3-CitywideBustGRN3-TakeHeartGRN3-RighteousBlow

GRN3-LuminousBondsGRN3-CrushContrabandGRN3-ConclaveTribunal

Citywide Bust provides one of only two major sweeper removal cards in the set. But it’s still situational and might not always end up in your favour. Luminous Bonds and Conclave Tribunal are enchantments that can remove one threat from the battlefield each. It can be good sometimes to prepare for this by potentially keeping back an extra creature to block at times.

There are only three white combat tricks, and of those only Collar the Culprit and Righteous Blow can destroy creatures. Knowing this, if you have a creature with three toughness on the battlefield, there is nothing white can do at instant speed to deal with it. Crush Contraband is a nice removal spell, but more likely to come out of the sideboard. Take Heart is a nice cheap combat trick that also gains you a ton of life in a flash.

Blue Combat Tricks and Removal Cards

GRN3-UnexplainedDisappearanceGRN3-SinisterSabotageGRN3-DisdainfulStroke

GRN3-DeviousCoverUpGRN3-DazzlingLightsGRN3-CaptureSphere

Blue has three counterspells to be aware of which run between two and four mana. Knowing this can help you play around a card like Disdainful Stroke if needed.

Dazzling Lights and Unexplained Disappearance can be used as combat tricks to affect combat scenarios. Capture Sphere can be played as an instant, but is more likely to be used before combat to lock down a creature. Overall, blue is weak for combat tricks. I’d be more worried about spells being countered than anything to affect combat.

Black Combat Tricks and Removal Cards

GRN3-SeveredStrandsGRN3-RitualOfSootGRN3-PriceOfFameGRN3-Plaguecrafter

GRN3-NecroticWoundGRN3-MephiticVaporsGRN3-DeadlyVisitGRN3-DeadWeight

There are three removal spells here that can kill a creature outright at different mana costs. Of those only Price of Fame can be cast as instant though, so remember that it costs four mana.

Deadly Visit and Severed Strands are great removal spells, but you can’t really play around them. Necrotic Wound is a potentially one mana removal spell to play around. Make sure if you are playing against black to constantly check their graveyard and see how much it can shrink one of your creatures. Plaguecrafter and Dead Weight are removal spells played during your own main phase, but if you know they have it, you could always decide to switch up your play in combat and the what toughness of creatures you want to play.

If you’re playing Selesnya in particular, be sure to watch out for Ritual of Soot and Mephitic Vapors. Both of these can clear a battlefield of 1/1 Soldier tokens quickly.

Red Combat Tricks and Removal Cards

GRN3-SureStrikeGRN3-LavaCoilGRN3-InescapableBlazerGRN3-GoblinCratermaker

GRN3-DirectCurrentGRN3-CosmotronicWaveGRN3-CommandTheStorm

One thing to note about all these spells is that red’s only instant removal spells cost five mana or more in the form of Command the Storm or Inescapable Blaze. That makes them a lot easier to play around. The only other combat trick you need to worry about is the reliable Sure Strike with a cmc of two mana.

In terms of sorcery speed removal, there’s a slew of them that deal between two and four damage. This includes Direct Current, Goblin Cratermaker, and Lava Coil. You’ll also have to watch out for Cosmotronic Wave, that can clear out a bunch of tokens or pave the way for a finishing attack.

Green Combat Tricks and Removal Cards

GRN3-SproutingRenewalGRN3-PreyUponGRN3-PauseforReflection

GRN3-PacksFavorGRN3-MightOfTheMassesGRN3-CrushingCanopy

You only have to worry about Crushing Canopy if you have a flying creature or an important enchantment on the battlefield. Be aware that both Pack’s Favor and Pause for Reflection can be cast with no lands. Each of which, if played correctly, can be devastating. The other three are all sorcery speed removal. But it is still good to be aware of what options are out there.

Artifact Combat Tricks and Removal Cards

GRN3-SilentDart

Only one removal card for artifacts. It can be used as a five mana removal spell, if kept until needed.

Dimir Combat Tricks and Removal Cards

GRN3-ArtfulTakedownGRN3-DiscoveryDispersal

Both of Dimir’s combat tricks cost four mana or more, so you’ll only have to worry about them some of the time. Artful Takedown is probably the most concerning, since it can deal with two creatures at once.

Golgari Combat Tricks and Removal Cards

GRN3-StatusStatueGRN3-UndercityUprisingGRN3-AssassinsTrophy

Undercity Uprising can be used as a mass removal spell if followed by a complete attack of all your creatures. Your opponent will either be forced to lose creatures or take damage. Status // Statue is one of the toughest combat tricks/removal cards to play around as it can be played at one or four mana. If you are unfortunate enough to get hit with Assassin’s Trophy during prerelease weekend (and we all will), there is little you can do except be careful when your opponent has two mana ready to go.

Izzet Combat Tricks and Removal Cards

GRN3-IonizeGRN3-HypothesizzleGRN3-BeaconBolt

GRN3-ExpansionExplosionGRN3-SonicAssaultGRN3-InvertInvent

The Invert half of Invert // Invent could be an interesting one mana way to mess up combat. Expansion // Explosion is a devastating card and hard to play around as it can be played at anywhere from two mana to any amount of mana. Ionize is a hard counter to look out for if they only have one blue mana available. Since Beacon Bolt is a sorcery, you only must worry about the five mana Hypothesizzle when it comes to dealing damage to your creatures. Sonic Assault is a reusable way to tap down some creatures, but nothing much more than that.

Selesnya Combat Tricks and Removal Cards

GRN3-AssureAssembleGRN3-JoinShields

Not much from Selesnya here. Join Shields is five mana, but is game changing when played correctly. Both halves of Assure // Assemble are good. For one mana you can win what used to be an even combat trade. Plus, if you have six mana you can make six power and six toughness on the battlefield. That will let you to kill a bunch of small creatures, or one large creature by blocking with all three.

Boros Combat Tricks and Removal Cards

GRN3-ResponseResurgenceGRN3-IntegrityInterventionGRN3-JusticeStrike

Justice Strike is a great two mana instant answer to most creatures. Intergrity // Intervention can hurt you with either half of the card. Be aware of the one mana pump spell the most. At two mana Response can take down almost every attacking or blocking creature. Though seeing the other half of the card, you may be happy to just lose creatures and not the game.

As you can see there are plenty of combat tricks and removal to keep in mind for this set. Each guild has some tricks up their sleeve. But, if you know the cards and work out the possible scenarios, you should be able to work out what your opponent might have in their hand.

Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose of Guilds of Ravnica. Join me again tomorrow where I’ll build a practice Limited deck to help you prepare for the weekend.

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