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January 2, 2019

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Daily Dose of Ravnica Allegiance – Having the foresight to play Simic

Welcome all to the Daily Dose of Ravnica Allegiance where we are in to week two of previews and I couldn’t be more excited! After seeing the power of Absorb yesterday, I have 3 new cards to talk about today. There is a couple of flying creatures to play around with and a Simic creature that will work very well with the new Simic mechanic Adapt. Adapt was a mechanic I talked about last week that allows you to spend an extra amount of mana after the creature is on the battlefield to give it some additional +1/+1 counters. Some creatures also have extra abilities once they have +1/+1 counters as well. This is very strong in Limited where the games go a bit longer and you can turn a small threat into a large threat later in the game. +1/+1 counters have appeared in many sets, but it looks like they are really pushing it in Ravnica Allegiance. Both of the Simic cards you’ll see today will show why I think it is getting pushed in this set.

Before I get into the new Simic cards I want to talk about a new Sphinx from Ravnica Allegiance. Here is Sphinx of Foresight.

I love this card! To start off you get a 4/4 Flying creature for four mana, which is strong in both Standard and Limited. After that it becomes a card selection all-star! If you have it in your opening hand you get to Scry 3 during your first upkeep. This is a unique and amazing ability to have on a card. If you have this in your opening hand it allows you to keep previously unkeepable hands knowing that you will be able to Scry 3 to fix your opening draws. Even if you don’t need to fix your lands, it will allow you to know your first couple of draws, making sure you hit the cards you need to have a strong start. This will be great in multicolor decks to make sure you hit the lands you need to cover your needed mana base. If you do happen to mulligan and get this in your 6 cards, you will be able to Scry 1 and than Scry 3 after that during your upkeep for even better card selection in your opening turns. While it’s on the battlefield you will also get to Scry 1 allowing you to see 2 cards per turn for your draw phase if you want.

Next I want to talk about a creature with the one of the best creatures types I’ve ever seen. Jellyfish… Hydra… Beast. With a creature type like that, it has to be mythic. Here is Hydroid Krasis.

Now that is a way to get a ton of +1/+1 counters onto the battlefield quickly! This will be one of the ways to win a game with Simic Ascendancy on the battlefield. When I see this card, I almost immediately think of Gilded Lotus and how I want to build a deck that has Hydroid Krasis and four Gilded Lotus. That’s right, I want to make some very large flying and trample creatures to take over the game. This great mana sink is not only a big creature but a semi-Sphinx’s Revelation on a stick. Gaining life and drawing cards as a pure bonus on this card will help you build back up your resources for the longer game. A key to this card is that you get the life and cards even if the creature is countered as the ability triggers upon casting the spell. I can already picture a Simic ramp deck with this and Hungering Hydra and using Simic Ascendancy as your win condition, assuming your creatures don’t finish off your opponent first.

Finally I want to talk about a new Simic creature that mimics a card from the past, Training Grounds. Here is Biomancer’s Familiar.

Biomancer's Familiar

Here is the expected translation of the card:

“Activated abilities of creatures you control cost up to 2 less to activate. This effect can’t reduce the amount of mana spent on ability costs to activate to less than one mana.

T: The next time a creature you control activates Adapt this turn, it uses Adapt as if it has no +1/+1 counters. “

Another sweet card for Simic to play around with. This has two abilities that are of interest here. The first ability is one that we’ve seen before on the enchantment Training Grounds. Having this on a creature is nice and will work very well with the new Simic mechanic Adapt. Let’s take Zegana, Utoipian Speaker as an example. With this on the battlefield, you will be able to Adapt for only four mana instead of six, allowing you to have an 8/8 trample on turn five instead of six. It’s second ability is where it starts to become scary for opponents. You will than be able to Adapt every turn, just making it larger and larger each turn. This also has an impact for other creatures in the Standard format. How about removing a wish counter from Djinn of Wishes for only two mana. Being able to add +1/+1 counters to Jungle Delver for only two mana instead of four. Shapers of Nature has two activated abilities that will benefit from being two mana less. This doesn’t include anything else that will be coming in Ravnica Allegiance.

Official preview season for Ravnica Allegiance has begun and they haven’t disappointed yet. These 3 new cards make me want to jump right in and start deck building some sweet new decks. The idea of having a deck that takes advantage of all of these +1/+1 counters is a dream come true. Only time will tell if they provide even more to help this deck become a reality in Standard. Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose of Ravnica Allegiance. Join me again tomorrow for more sweet previews as the hamster wheel of deck building ideas continues to turn!