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September 4, 2018

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Daily Dose of Guilds of Ravnica – It’s time to tap those creatures

Welcome back to the Daily Dose of Guilds of Ravnica, where I’m just starting to get into the new preview season. A new set means new cards to look forward to and, for me at least, new potential decks to think about. Yesterday I investigated the new Jump-Start mechanic and took a look at the impact it could have. This time, I’ll be looking at a mechanic returning in the new set, Convoke.

Convoke works as follows: “Your creatures can help cast this spell. Each creature you tap while casting this spell pays for 1 or one mana of that creature’s colour.” Simply put, it’s a cost reduction mechanic that uses your creatures as mana towards the spell. This means there’s an opportunity to cast Convoke spells for free, if you have enough untapped creatures available.

Today, I’ll be looking at two new Convoke spells plus a legendary creature who’s just begging to be tapped.

To start us off, here’s a new iteration of an Elf who is much different than her first iteration in Dragon’s Maze. Here is Emmara, Soul of the Accord:

emmarasouloftheaccord1

What a sweet Legendary creature!

At 2/2 for two mana, Emmara is a solid creature to begin with. Being an Elf certainly helps thanks to cards like Elvish Clancaller and Marwyn, the Nurturer. Where this creature shines is in its ability to make additional creatures every time it gets tapped.

That’s right, tapped. Not attacking.

This is a key distinction since there are other ways to tap a creature other than attacking. There are plenty of times you will still be able to attack and create a free 1/1 Soldier with lifelink. And there appear to be plenty of Elves kicking around Ravnica so far. We’ll have to see if an Elf deck can make an appearance.

Now that we have a creature that wants to be tapped, it’s time to investigate some Convoke spells. First off is an enchantment with an ability you’ve seen before. Let’s look at Conclave Tribunal:

conclavetribunal2

Enchantments like this are key for white, since they provide a way to remove any nonland permanent off the battlefield. The base cost for this type of enchantment is four mana, but thanks to Convoke you can cast it from anywhere from 0 to 4 mana. If you combine this with Emmara, Soul of the Accord, you can remove an opposing threat and get an extra 1/1 creature out of the deal.

With Cast Out being one of the victims of rotation, this is a nice replacement for it. Being able to cast it on turn three instead of turn four in some cases will be a huge difference in preventing you from getting blown out by an aggressive deck.

Finally, I want to show you a creature with Convoke. Not just any old creature. No, this is the largest creature ever printed in Magic (Sorry, Big Furry Monster, you don’t count). Here is Impervious Greatwurm:

imperviousgreatwurm

Say hello to the largest creature ever printed. Sitting at a massive 16/16, this buy-a-box promo will prove to be quite the problem if it hits the battlefield. This monster of a worm beats out the previous tie between Emrakul, the Aeons Torn and Worldspine Wurm.

Something you may have noticed on both of those cards is a certain line of text. “When [CARD NAME] is put into a graveyard from anywhere, shuffle it into its owner’s library.” That made it difficult to reanimate both cards from your graveyard. But guess what, Impervious Greatwurm doesn’t have that line of text. All it has is one ability, Indestructible. This means that you can’t destroy it with a spell or kill it using damage. Instead, you’ll have to either find a way to make your opponent sacrifice it, exile it, or bounce it back into their hand.

Other than that, your only possible response is throwing a string of chump blockers in front of it to prevent it from hitting you for 16. Without trample, there could be times where it has difficultly getting through for damage. I’m sure there will be a few ways to give it trample though, so that it doesn’t suffer from the same issue as Gigantosaurus.

What do you think about Convoke returning to Standard?

For me, it immediately makes me want to start putting a ton of creatures onto the battlefield early in the game, then tap them all to cast something large like Impervious Greatwurm. I’m interested to see how many Convoke spells will have an impact on the format.

Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose. Join me tomorrow as I look at another new mechanic from Guilds of Ravnica.