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January 9, 2019

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Daily Dose of Ravnica Allegiance – An Orzhov Renewal

Welcome all to the Daily Dose of Ravnica Allegiance where today I’m going to be talking about some new cards from everyone’s favorite guild (okay just a few people) Orzhov. The new mechanic for Orzhov in Ravnica Allegiance is Afterlife which provides some friendly 1/1 Flying Spirit tokens when a creature with this ability dies. Today I’m going to be talking about some cards that work well together as well as the return of a planeswalker we’ve never seen in a major expansion before. Remember with Orzhov that dying is just the beginning and there is much more to come after that.

Kaya first appeared in a Conspiracy set but will make her return in Ravnica Allegiance. Here is Kaya, Orzhov Usurper.

Here is another planeswalker that starts with 3 loyalty for only 3 mana, which is usually quite strong. Let’s check out her abilities.

[+1]: Exile up to two target cards from a single graveyard. You gain 2 life if at least one creature card was exiled this way. – This ability is great against decks like Golgari, Izzet Drakes, Jeskai Control that want to use cards in their graveyard to gain an advantage in the game. The life gain is a bonus and won’t always happen every time your use this ability.

[-1]: Exile target nonland permanent with converted mana cost 1 or less. – This ability is a little bit of a head scratcher as on the surface it looks like you won’t have many targets for this. It will take out a token that your opponent may have like 2/2 Knights created from History of Benalia. When it comes to nontoken permanents, there aren’t many targets in Standard for it. The decks that it will work best against are White Weenie and Mono Blue Tempo which each have multiple creature targets for it. Mono-Red also has a few targets in Fanatical Firebrand and Ghitu Lavarunner. Llanowar Elves is something that you would want to target, but it might be too late by turn three.

[-5]: Kaya, Orzhov Usurper deals damage to target player equal to the number of cards that player owns in exile and you gain that much life. – This ultimate only takes 3 turns to activate if you can protect her. This is one that could deal 4 damage or possibly way more if you have a way of exiling more cards from their graveyard. This could easily be a win condition late in a game.

Next is a creature that has 4 different abilities in its text box making it a versatile threat. Here is Seraph of the Scales.

Wow. This Angel does it all! To start off, it passes the vanilla test by giving you a 4/3 flying creature for only four mana. Being able to give it deathtouch will be more valuable on the blocking side usually, but there could be a large demon that it won’t be able to get through that you might need to activate it. I could see myself giving it vigilance more often to make sure it would be able to block if needed while still getting in 4 damage. Seraph of the Scales is the first creature we have seen with an Afterlife trigger greater than 1. Being that it’s Afterlife 2 on this mythic card, I don’t suspect there will be any cards that have Afterlife 3. Having two 1/1 Spirit flying creatures left after this dies is a nice treat though.

Finally, I have a new legendary creature which has an ability that players see as the reverse Panharmonicon. Here is Teysa Karlov.

I loved playing with Panharmonicon and this card gets the creative juices flowing. Let’s see what some of the best targets in Standard could be for this. How about getting four 2/2 creatures from Conclave Cavalier. Doomed Dissenter would make two 2/2 Zombie tokens when it dies. I think one of the best on color cards would be Elenda, the Dusk Rose. This could create a ton of 1/1 Vampire tokens with lifelink on the battlefield. With Midnight Reaper you could draw 2 cards anytime a nontoken creature dies giving you some nice card advantage. With Poison-Tip Archer you could have your opponent lose 2 life every time another creature dies. There is a possibility to make a deck around this card that could do well in Standard.

Based on what I’ve seen so far, Orzhov is going to be a very synergistic guild to play with in Limited formats. They might not all be very strong on their own, but once combined it could make an unstoppable deck to play against. Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose of Ravnica Allegiance. Join me again tomorrow as I investigate some new Azorius cards.