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January 3, 2019

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Daily Dose of Ravnica Allegiance – Tough choices for Turn 3

Welcome all to the Daily Dose of Ravnica Allegiance. Today I’m going to be talking about a few new cards that all just happen to cost exactly three mana.

I haven’t talked too much about Azorius yet this preview season, but that’s changing with two new Azorius cards, including the return of the Planeswalker Dovin Baan. Yesterday I talked about Biomancer’s Familiar, which is like Training Grounds but on a creature. Today I have an Azorius card which is also a creature that duplicates the ability of an old enchantment. One that could have quite an impact against certain decks.

But before I get into those two cards, I want to throw a creature at you that wants to attack and doesn’t care too much if your creatures happen to die along the way. Let’s talk about Judith, the Scourge Diva:

I would have been okay if all this did was pump up all your other creatures by +1/+0. That alone is enough to make this card a rare, in my opinion.

Just imagine this card in a Red deck with cards like Ghitu Lavarunner, Viashino Pyromancer, and Fanatical Firebrand. Each of those creatures getting in for one extra damage means you are finishing the game off that much sooner. Once your aggressive creatures can’t get through any more, Judith, the Scourge Diva‘s second ability means that they are still worth an extra point of damage to your opponent, or any other target you want. Imagine sacrificing a Fanatical Firebrand for two damage instead of one. With Judith on the field, cards like Goblin Cratermaker become a bit more valuable when sacrificing.

Currently there are some enchantments that help you temporarily exile permanents, like Seal Away, Ixalan’s Binding, and Conclave Tribunal. One of the best cards like that ever printed was Detention Sphere. Now Detention Sphere‘s ability is back in creature form with Deputy of Detention:

This is a great answer to a lot of threats in the current Standard. Having problems with Knight tokens from History of Benalia? This is a clean way to get rid of them all. I like it a lot against Wildgrowth Walker to reset its counters if it gets too large. It’s tougher when used against decks like Mono-Red, which have no shortage of ways to kill it. At just 1/3, it is easier to kill than enchantments with a similar ability, but Deputy of Detention will still be effective at temporarily taking down a strong threat.

And last but not least, we have the return of Dovin Baan. Here is Dovin, Grand Arbiter:

Dovin, Grand Arbiter only cost three mana and provides you with three loyalty right off the bat. Let’s zoom in and have a look at all these Planeswalker abilities in a little more detail.

[+1]: Until end of turn, whenever a creature you control deals combat damage to a player, put a loyalty counter on Dovin, Grand Arbiter. – This reminds me a bit of Huatli, Radiant Champion‘s ability. “+1: Put a loyalty counter on Huatli, Radiant Champion for each creature you control.”

This is a card that you build a deck around to maximize its value. There are currently two decks in Standard that would benefit from having this card with a little mana fixing thanks to cards like Hallowed Fountain. One is Mono Blue Tempo. Most of its creatures have evasion, so it won’t take very long to build up loyalty on Dovin, Grand Arbiter. The other deck is White Weenie Aggro. With 12 or more one mana creatures in the deck, you should be able to get creatures out quickly, then drop Dovin, Grand Arbiter on turn three to quickly build up loyalty.

[-1]: Create a 1/1 colorless Thopter artifact creature token with flying. You gain 1 life. – This is a great ability to have. It provides protection for itself while also giving you some life along the way. In certain tokens decks the Thopter can be used to help cast other spells like Conclave Tribunal. Using this to make three Thopter tokens could be a path to victory in some games.

[-7]: Look at the top ten cards of your library. Put three of them into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order. – Since you could get to seven loyalty counters after your first turn, this could be one of the easier ultimate Planeswalker abilities to achieve. Being able to get three strong cards from your deck will most likely mean game over for your opponent.

There you have it folks, three great cards for the low, low cost of three mana each.

These are some cards that you want to be building decks around. This is especially true for Dovin, Grand Arbiter which is not one you can just stick in any deck playing white and blue. I look forward to seeing if there are any other aggressive cards in white or blue that can be used to take advantage of this new Planeswalker card.

Thanks again for joining me on the Daily Dose of Ravnica Allegiance. I look forward to seeing you tomorrow as we wrap up the week by looking at the return of an Orzhov Planeswalker we’ve never seen in a major set before.