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December 24, 2018

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Daily Dose of Ravnica Allegiance – The Spectacle of Rakdos

Welcome everyone to another season of the Daily Dose, now starring Ravnica Allegiance! From now until release I’ll talk about all the amazing new cards we’ll see in the upcoming set. This week I’m focusing on the five new mechanics from the five guilds highlighted in the new set. I’m starting the week off with a Spectacle. That is, the new mechanic from Rakdos, Spectacle.

This mechanic fits perfectly with Rakdos, as it takes over from Boros as the aggressive guild for this set. With Rakdos you want to be dealing damage quickly and often and this mechanic will let you do just that. Cards with the new spectacle mechanic will allow you to cast spells for a different mana cost. You can either cast them cheaper or gain an ability if you paid its spectacle mana cost.

Let’s have a look at one new common Rakdos creature with an alternate mana cost thanks to Spectacle. Here is Rafter Demon.

Creatures that force you to discard a card have proven that they can be a pain in Limited formats. We most recently learned that lesson as we saw Burglar Rat and Caligo Skin-Witch could be an annoyance to opponents. By itself, without paying the Spectacle cost, Rafter Demon is only a 4/2 creature for four mana. With four power, it can sometimes trade up. But most times you’ll want to wait the extra turn and pay the Specatle cost.

It seems when it is more and provides some extra value, it is very similar to having a Kicker cost. In fact, Rafter Demon could easily have read, “Kicker 1: When Rafter Demon enters the battlefield, if it was kicked, each opponent discards a card.”

Next up is a red creature that you can cast for two or four mana, depending on how you want to play it. Here is Rix Maadi Reveler.

Compared to Rafter Demon, Rix Maadi Reveler offers you a little bit more value no matter which casting cost you pay. You have the choice for it to be like Keldon Raider or Bedlam Reveler.

Let’s start off with its two-mana variant. Being able to get some better card selection on turn two can help you smooth out your draws. Be careful though. This isn’t a may ability and you will have to discard a card whether you like it or not. If you do pay its Spectacle cost, you’ll be rewarded with three new cards. This is huge for an aggressive Rakdos deck that will most likely have dumped most of their hand during the first three or four turns anyways. Rix Maadi Reveler will be the card that Rakdos decks want to draw in the late game to help them get card advantage not often offered in these colours.

Both cards above have had a higher Spectacle cost than the original cost and provided an extra ability in exchange. Next we have a card with a reduced Spectacle cost, meaning you can cheat it out for cheaper if you’ve damaged your opponent this turn. Here is Light Up the Stage.

Now here’s an interesting card design. At three mana, Light Up The Stage is a hard to play card, as most of the decks that would play it don’t run a ton of land, which would make it difficult to play the top two cards of your deck. But at one mana it should be easy to play the top two cards off the top of your deck. Unless they’re both lands, that is.

Note that it says “play”, so that includes playing lands you haven’t already. Ordering will be very important with this spell. Another thing to note is that it says, “Until the end of your next turn”, unlike similar abilities seen on cards like Chandra, Torch of Defiance that must be cast immediately. It would be a tough card to play in say the Mono Red deck, since you want to pay its spectacle cost. You could always exile some creatures that have haste like Ghitu Lavarunner or Fanatical Firebrand. But with the much better Experimental Frenzy in the format, I’m not sure that this spell will have a spot in the Mono Red decks of today.

I have to say that I am more interested in the reduced mana cost Spectacle spells instead of the ones with larger alternate mana costs that provide an extra ability. It will be interesting to see how pushed they want to get with the spectacle cost of a card. Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose. Join me in the coming weeks as I continue to investigate all the new cards from Ravnica Allegiance.