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December 25, 2018

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Daily Dose of Ravnica Allegiance – Gruul is about to start a Riot

Welcome everyone to the Daily Dose of Ravnica Allegiance! Today I bring forth the power and strength of Gruul with a new mechanic that puts a fork in the road every time you play it. The mechanic Riot appears on Gruul creatures and allows you to creature with Riot to enter the battlefield with either Haste (permanently) or a +1/+1 counter. Do you need to play aggressively, or do you need to add +1/+1 counters to your creatures for the long game?

Before I talk about a couple of the new Gruul cards with Riot, I want to investigate the return of “Gates Matter” cards. Here is Gate Colossus.

I’m glad they made a card like this, as they often have a huge impact on the Limited format. Gatekeeper Gargoyle was one of my favorite cards to play with in Guilds of Ravnica limited format. It usually came in as a 5/5 or 6/6 Flying creature and took over the game. I can see Gate Colossus having the same impact. It won’t be very difficult to get 3 gates onto the battlefield by turn five, giving you an 8/8 for only five mana. True it doesn’t have trample, which would have been nice, but it does give you the ability to recast it once it dies if you play another Gate onto the battlefield. Great design on the card and one which will get you to focus on picking up those Gate lands whenever you can during draft.

The first Gruul card I want to talk about is a Cat that threatens to get larger in the late game. Here is Frenzied Arnyx.

You get a simple choice, do you want a 3/3 Trample creature with haste, or a 4/4 Trample creature. You must decide if you need to get in some quick damage or if you want to have a creature that will help you in a stalemated battlefield. With either option you have the threat of pumping it up for some extra trample damage on future turns. They key thing about Riot, is that it’s your choice and not your opponents. Its not really a decision you can say in advance. Picking haste will not always be the obvious choice. Each decision will be game dependant, which makes Riot a great mechanic to have to help add to your creature.

Finally, is an aggressive Gruul creature that can not only get in for some quick damage but has protection for both you and it. Here is Gruul Spellbreaker.

Gruul Spellbreaker gives you the same choice you were given with Frenzied Arnyx with the bonus of the creature only costing three mana. I think this would often lead you to choose the haste option more often in an aggressive deck, but who knows when you might need a bigger 4/4 body on the battlefield. Where Gruul Spellbreaker is a step above is that it gives itself and you hexproof. This negates your opponent from hitting you with any burn spells during your turn and transforms most of their instant spells into sorcery spells. Making it so they need to play spells on their own turn will aid you in future turns in playing more creatures with Riot. Having an opponent tapped out on your turn always makes Magic a little easier.

The new Riot mechanic will always pose an interesting choice for you when you play a creature with Riot. The good news is that the choice is in your hand and not your opponents. The power shifts to you to allow you to build your creatures how you see fit. Riot could also work well with the new Simic mechanic Adapt if there ends of being some good cards that use +1/+1 counters as a resource. Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose of Ravnica Allegiance. Join me tomorrow as I talk about the what the new Simic mechanic has to offer.